Factors influencing discrepancies between premortem and postmortem diagnoses

JAMA. 1987 Jul 17;258(3):339-44.


A study of 2067 autopsies collected from 32 university and community hospitals of various sizes located throughout the United States showed the rate of discrepancies between premortem and postmortem diagnoses to be influenced by the type and size of hospital, the age and sex of the patient, and the disease responsible for the patient's death. Of equivocal or no influence were the length of the terminal hospitalization, the degree of clinical involvement in the case of the person responsible for establishing the discrepancy level, and the autopsy rate, at least as it applies to community hospitals.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Autopsy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnostic Errors*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors