In the fifth webinar, participants were introduced to the use of PMCT in the investigation of natural deaths. At the New Mexico OMI, a PMCT scan may be used to rule out trauma in apparently natural deaths, or to confirm a natural cause of death. Depending on investigative details (circumstances, age, and medical history), and the PMCT findings, pathologists may choose to perform an external exam or a full autopsy.
Participants were introduced to the PMCT appearance natural causes of death commonly encountered in the medical examiner setting. Cerebrovascular causes of death identified at PMCT include stroke, non-traumatic hemorrhage, and dementia. The PMCT appearance of cardiovascular disease findings such as cardiomegaly, atherosclerotic vascular disease, and ruptured aneurysms will be discussed. The lecture included a review of common PMCT findings in other chronic and acute conditions, including emphysema, chronic ethanolism, cancer, and COVID-19.
Finally, participants were introduced to examples of the value of PMCT in the investigation of pediatric natural deaths, such as the identification of congenital anomalies.
1) Participants will have a basic understanding of how PMCT can be utilized in the investigation of natural deaths in the medical examiner setting.
2) Participants will be familiar with the PMCT appearance of several common cerebrovascular and cardiovascular causes of death.
3) Participants will have an awareness of other chronic and acute natural disease states for which PMCT findings are often useful.
Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence event has been provided by the National Institute of Justice.
Lori Proe, DO - Medical Examiner, Assistant Professor of Pathology