Towards multi-phase postmortem CT angiography in children: a study on a porcine model

Int J Legal Med. 2018 Sep;132(5):1391-1403. doi: 10.1007/s00414-018-1783-y. Epub 2018 Jan 30.


Purpose: Multi-phase postmortem computed tomography angiography (MPMCTA) is a growing technique, which is standardized for adults. Application of this protocol for a children population is not so well defined. Our study aims to adapt the adult's protocol to children, using a porcine model.

Material and methods: Three groups of 18 pigs were studied, with a weight distribution between 4 and 48 kg. Different pump devices were used. Pigs of group I were studied using the Virtangio® machine, whereas pigs of groups II and III were studied using used the Medrad® machine. Study of vascular opacification was possible using a semi-quantitative method based on 26 arterial and 26 venous segments that were distributed over the entire body from the cephalic extremity to the posterior pawns.

Results: While thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic vascular opacification were complete for each individual pig in a group, group III showed better vascular opacification for the cephalic extremity. This was also true for anterior and posterior pawns vascular opacification. Spearman correlation tests showed a significant relationship between anthropometric characteristics of pigs, injection parameters, and percentage of opacified segments. A higher percentage of opacification was obtained for individuals of lower weights, with comparatively lower quantities of contrast agent injected.

Conclusion: Postmortem computed tomography angiography (PMCTA) was possible for all the individuals, particularly for small weights (4 kg) using the Medrad® machine. However, further studies are needed to better understand the procedure.

Keywords: Adults; Angiography; CT; Children; Porcine model; Postmortem.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autopsy*
  • Child
  • Computed Tomography Angiography / instrumentation*
  • Computed Tomography Angiography / methods*
  • Contrast Media
  • Disease Models, Animal*
  • Humans
  • Swine


  • Contrast Media