Retinal hemorrhages: replicating the clinician's view of the eye

Forensic Sci Int. 1992 Sep;56(1):77-80. doi: 10.1016/0379-0738(92)90149-q.


The authors describe a technique for the gross examination of postmortem eyes of children who are suspected to have been the victims of deliberate trauma. By removing the anterior segment (cornea, iris, lens and pars plicata of the ciliary body) en bloc by a coronal incision through the pars plana just anterior to the ora serrata, the pathologist may view and photograph the fundus exactly as it would have been seen clinically. The photographs obtained with this technique correlate more closely with antemortem clinical examinations and photographs than conventional gross examination procedures and have been introduced as evidence in trials concerning the issue of retinal hemorrhages in injured children. The anterior segment and optic nerve are also examined to facilitate a comprehensive description of ocular findings.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Abuse / diagnosis
  • Eye / pathology
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Postmortem Changes*
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Retinal Hemorrhage / pathology*