Autopsy imaging for cardiac tamponade in a Thoroughbred foal

J Equine Sci. 2016;27(3):115-118. doi: 10.1294/jes.27.115. Epub 2016 Sep 30.


Autopsy imaging (Ai), postmortem imaging before necropsy, is used in human forensic medicine. Ai was performed using computed tomography (CT) for a 1-month-old Thoroughbred foal cadaver found in a pasture. CT revealed pericardial effusion, collapse of the aorta, bleeding in the lung lobe, gas in the ventricles and liver parenchyma, and distension of the digestive tract. Rupture in the left auricle was confirmed by necropsy; however, it was not depicted on CT. Therefore, Ai and conventional necropsy are considered to complement each other. The cause of death was determined to be traumatic cardiac tamponade. In conclusion, Ai is an additional option for determining cause of death.

Keywords: Thoroughbred; autopsy imaging (Ai); cardiac tamponade; computed tomography.