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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 327903, 5 pages
Research Article

Postmortem Computed Tomography Imaging in the Investigation of Nontraumatic Death in Infants and Children

1Department of Pediatrics, Kansai Medical University, 2-5-1 Shin-machi, Hirakata-shi, Osaka 573 1010, Japan
2Department of Radiology, Kansai Medical University, Osaka 573 1010, Japan

Received 21 June 2013; Accepted 3 August 2013

Academic Editor: Akinori Nakamura

Copyright © 2013 Yukihiro Noda et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To determine the accuracy of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) for the assessment of causes in nontraumatic deaths in children. Study Design. We enrolled cases of nontraumatic deaths of infants and children who underwent PMCT at a single center. The presumed cause of death determined by PMCT was prospectively compared with the clinical and pathological diagnoses of deaths. Results. Thirty-eight cases were enrolled for analysis. Among them, seven cases also underwent conventional medical autopsy. PMCT revealed an identifiable cause of death in accordance with the clinical diagnosis of death in 16 cases of the 38 cases (the concordance rate was 42%) and in accordance with the autopsy cause of death in four of the seven autopsy cases (the concordance rate was 57%). Among eight cases with unknown cause of death by clinical diagnosis, four cases (50%) were identified with cardiac tamponade as a cause of death (one case) and intracranial hemorrhage suggesting abuse (3 cases). Conclusions. PMCT seems to be a promising technique that might serve as a substitute for conventional medical autopsy and give us the complementary information to clinical diagnoses particularly in cases of child abuse. Larger multicenter trials are worthwhile to validate the general feasibility of PMCT.