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Post-mortem imaging in forensic investigations: current utility, limitations, and ongoing developments

Authors Grabherr S, Baumann P, Minoiu C, Fahrni S, Mangin P

Received 7 August 2015

Accepted for publication 28 October 2015

Published 16 March 2016 Volume 2016:6 Pages 25—37

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/RRFMS.S93974

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Jingyi Li

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Professor Henrik Druid


Silke Grabherr,1 Pia Baumann,1 Costin Minoiu,1,2 Stella Fahrni,3 Patrice Mangin1

1Department of Forensic Imaging, University Center of Legal Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; 2Department of Radiology, University of Medicine and Pharmacy “Carol Davila”, Bucharest, Romania; 3School of Criminal Justice and Forensic Science, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract: Forensic imaging is a new field with increasing application all over the world. However, its role in legal medicine is controversial, mostly due to the use of undefined and unclear terms. The aim of this article is to describe forensic imaging and to explain the various techniques that pertain to it. Essentially, these methods consist of radiological methods such as conventional radiography, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging, but other techniques such as 3D surface scanning are also employed. Computed tomography can be combined with minimally invasive strategies such as image-guided sampling or post-mortem angiography. We provide an overview of the advantages and limitations of these methods, which must be identified and understood to enable correct application.

Keywords:
forensic imaging, post-mortem computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, forensic radiology, virtual autopsy

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