Preautopsy magnetic resonance imaging: initial experience

Magn Reson Imaging. 1990;8(3):303-8. doi: 10.1016/0730-725x(90)90103-9.


To our knowledge, there are no prospective data in the literature investigating the role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in detecting abnormalities in cadavers to determine the feasibility of this concept. We prospectively studied six cadavers (three stillborn infants, one infant, and two adults) with a 0.15 T resistive magnet. The images obtained allowed detection of abnormalities in multiple organs. Although autopsy was superior to MRI in detecting very small abnormalities, MRI was equal to autopsy in detecting gross cranial, pulmonary, abdominal, and vascular pathology in this small series. In addition, MRI was superior to autopsy in detecting air and fluid in potential body spaces. Preautopsy MRI may be an alternate method in restricted or denied autopsies and may provide an additional MRI research and educational tool.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy / methods*
  • Cadaver
  • Congenital Abnormalities / pathology
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Fetal Death / pathology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / standards*
  • Male
  • Pilot Projects
  • Prospective Studies
  • Time Factors