Volume 50, Issue 5 (September 2005)
Virtopsy: Postmortem Minimally Invasive Angiography Using Cross Section Techniques—Implementation and Preliminary Results
Postmortem investigation is increasingly supported by Computed Tomography (CT) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). This led to the idea to implement a noninvasive or minimally invasive autopsy technique. Therefore, a minimally invasive angiography technique becomes necessary, in order to support the vascular cross section diagnostic. Preliminary experiments investigating different contrast agents for CT and MRI and their postmortem applicability have been performed using an ex-vivo porcine coronary model. MSCT and MRI angiography was performed in the porcine model. Three human corpses were investigated using minimally invasive MSCT angiography. Via the right femoral artery a plastic tube was advanced into the aortic arch. Using a flow adjustable pump the radiopaque contrast agent meglumine-ioxithalamate was injected. Subsequent MSCT scanning provided an excellent anatomic visualization of the human arterial system including intracranial and coronary arteries. Vascular pathologies such as calcification, stenosis and injury were detected. Limitations of the introduced approach are cases of major vessel injury and cases that show an advanced stage of decay.