Radiation Medicine

, Volume 24, Issue 7, pp 493–502

Postmortem computed tomography for detecting causes of sudden death in infants and children: retrospective review of cases

  • Yuji Oyake
  • Takeshi Aoki
  • Seiji Shiotani
  • Mototsugu Kohno
  • Noriyoshi Ohashi
  • Hiroyoshi Akutsu
  • Kentaro Yamazaki
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

DOI: 10.1007/s11604-006-0061-y

Cite this article as:
Oyake, Y., Aoki, T., Shiotani, S. et al. Radiat Med (2006) 24: 493. doi:10.1007/s11604-006-0061-y

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to investigate the usefulness of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) in detecting causes of sudden death in infants and children.

Materials and methods

Our subjects were 15 nontraumatically deceased patients (nine boys and six girls, ranging in age from 20 days after birth to 12 years old, mean age 1.6 years), who had been in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival at our hospital. PMCT was performed within 2 h after certification of death: head (15 cases), chest (11 cases), and abdomen (12 cases). Blood was collected from 11 of the patients at the time of cardiopulmonary resuscitation. An autopsy was conducted on two.

Results

PMCT did not show any traumatic changes indicating child abuse. It was difficult to presume the cause of death with PMCT alone, but the cause of death in 14 of 15 cases could be presumed by combining information from their medical history, clinical course before death, PMCT findings, laboratory data, and bacterial culture. The remaining subject was classified as cause unknown.

Conclusion

The causes of sudden death in infants and children were detected at a high rate when we comprehensively investigated the PMCT and other examination findings.

Key words

Postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) Autopsy imaging Sudden infant death Forensic radiology 

Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuji Oyake
    • 1
  • Takeshi Aoki
    • 2
  • Seiji Shiotani
    • 3
  • Mototsugu Kohno
    • 4
  • Noriyoshi Ohashi
    • 4
  • Hiroyoshi Akutsu
    • 5
  • Kentaro Yamazaki
    • 6
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsOyake Children's ClinicHitachinakaJapan
  2. 2.Department of PediatricsTsukuba Medical CenterTsukubaJapan
  3. 3.Department of RadiologyTsukuba Medical CenterTsukubaJapan
  4. 4.Department of Critical Care and Emergency MedicineTsukuba Medical CenterTsukubaJapan
  5. 5.Department of NeurosurgeryTsukuba Medical CenterTsukubaJapan
  6. 6.Department of Forensic MedicineTsukuba Medical Examiner's OfficeTsukubaJapan