Organ weight in 684 adult autopsies: new tables for a Caucasoid population

Forensic Sci Int. 2001 Jun 15;119(2):149-54. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(00)00401-1.


The weights of normal organs were retrospectively culled for the years 1987-1991 from 684 forensic autopsy cases. All the subjects were Caucasoid adults who died of external causes and showed no pathological changes. The weights of the following organs were available: the heart, the right and the left lung, the liver, the spleen, the pancreas, the right and the left kidney and the thyroid gland. The external parameters used for statistical correlation were the age, the height, the body weight and the body mass index (BMI) of the deceased. The weight of all the organs was shown to correlate with at least one external parameter, with the exception of thyroids in females. Organ weights decreased with age except for the heart and the thyroid, and increased in relation to body height and/or BMI. Except for the heart, the organ weight showed a better statistical correlation with the body height than the BMI. These updated tables of organ weight were compared with the data collected in previous studies. Such tables have to be regularly updated by pathologists in order to keep organ weight as a good criterion to be used in post-mortem diagnosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Autopsy*
  • Body Height
  • Body Mass Index
  • Body Weight
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • France
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Reference Values
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Viscera / anatomy & histology*
  • White People*