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Title: Demonstrating the origin of cardiac air embolism using post-mortem computed tomography; an illustrated case.
Authors: Saunders, S
Kotecha, D
Morgan, B
Raj, V
Rutty, G
First Published: Mar-2011
Citation: LEG MED (TOKYO), 2011, 13 (2), pp. 79-82
Abstract: An 83 year old female was found dead in her home. The deceased had been struck repeatedly to the head with at least one weapon, one of which was a hammer. The deceased had suffered both penetrating and non-penetrating blunt trauma to the head as a result of the assault. A multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scan was undertaken approximately 12h after death prior to the autopsy examination. This demonstrated the presence of a cardiac air embolus and continuity between the air embolus and the penetrating head injury. Air within the heart is a recognised post-mortem artefact frequently seen on MDCT scans and a common pitfall for inexperienced cadaveric MDCT reporters. This case builds upon a previous report by Kauczor, illustrating how MDCT can be used to demonstrate the origin and route of ingress of a genuine air embolism to the heart.
DOI Link: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2010.10.005
eISSN: 1873-4162
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine

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