Post-mortem computed tomography angiography: past, present and future

Forensic Sci Med Pathol. 2011 Sep;7(3):271-7. doi: 10.1007/s12024-010-9208-3. Epub 2010 Dec 12.


The role of imaging has been long established in forensic practice as an adjunct to the conventional autopsy. Recently with the development of MDCT, there has been a large international push towards the development of the so called "near virtual autopsy." Currently a large obstacle to the acceptance of "near virtual autopsies" is the failure of post-mortem imaging to yield detailed information about the coronary arteries. This is a major deficiency of post-mortem MDCT and MRI compared to conventional autopsy as standard clinical angiography relies on circulation. One possible way to overcome this is by the use of post-mortem MDCT angiography. This review paper considers the past, current and future advances in cadaver cardiac imaging which, if successful, will take radiological imaging one step closer to the widespread introduction of near virtual autopsies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy / trends*
  • Contrast Media
  • Coronary Angiography / methods*
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional*
  • Multidetector Computed Tomography


  • Contrast Media