, Volume 17, Issue 1, pp 21–28 | Cite as

Are autopsies necessary?

The role of computed tomography as a possible alternative to invasive autopsies
  • G. N. RuttyEmail author


This review considers firstly why we undertake invasive autopsies before considering present alternatives. It illustrates that with the exception of the so-called view and grant system, all present alternatives to a full necropsy have in some form or other an invasive component. It then considers the range of radiological techniques available to the modern forensic practitioner before considering whether computed tomography could have a role not only as an adjunct but as a complete replacement to an invasive autopsy. This truly non-invasive investigative technique may at last be a realistic alternative to invasive autopsy when undertaken in conjunction with an external examination of the body but at present only for certain types of death. However, is the forensic community ready for the adoption of this technology and what could be the consequences for future forensic pathologists?


Forensic Radiology Autopsy Fluoroscopy X-ray Computed tomography 

Sind Obduktionen notwendig?

Die Rolle der Computertomographie als mögliche Alternative zu invasiven Obduktionen


Warum werden invasive Obduktionen durchgeführt, bevor moderne Alternativen eingesetzt werden? Abgesehen vom „View-and-grant-System“, sind alle Alternativen zu einer vollständigen Obduktion auf die eine oder andere Art invasiv. Im Folgenden wird das Spektrum radiologischer Verfahren, die dem modernen Rechtsmediziner zur Verfügung stehen, betrachtet. Es wird der Frage nachgegangen, ob sich in der computertomographischen Untersuchung nicht nur eine Ergänzung der invasiven Obduktion, sondern ein vollständiger Ersatz finden lässt. Dieses nichtinvasive Verfahren könnte eine realistische Alternative darstellen, wenn es parallel zur Leichenschau durchgeführt würde.Dies gilt aber zurzeit nur für bestimmte Todesarten. Ist jedoch die forensische Gesellschaft bereit, diese Methode zu akzeptieren? Und was könnten die Konsequenzen für zukünftige Rechtmediziner sein?


Forensik Radiologie Obduktion Fluoroskopie Röntgenuntersuchung Computertomographie 


Conflict of interest

No information supplied.


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Copyright information

© Springer Medizin Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forensic Pathology UnitUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUnited Kingdom

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