A Landscape Study of Computed Tomography Scanners for Postmortem Applications

A Landscape Study of Computed Tomography Scanners for Postmortem Applications


December 2023


Advanced imaging technologies help medicolegal death investigation (MDI) personnel assess cause of death (COD) and manner of death (MOD). The Medical Examiner and Coroner (MEC) community utilize postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) to obtain imaging data to assist in reaching informed conclusions in suspicious, unexpected, or unexplained deaths. PMCT provides comprehensive information, often at a higher level of discrimination than traditional X-ray and fluoroscopy methods, that may supplement or replace an autopsy.

This landscape study will provide medical examiners, coroners, and other members of the medicolegal death investigation community with an overview of computed tomography (CT) scanner technology and how scanners may be used in postmortem applications, discussion on the potential value and limitations of postmortem CT, product details of a representative sample of CT scanners that may be used in postmortem CT applications, and considerations for implementing a CT scanner, with use cases of successful implementation.

Funding for this Forensic Technology Center of Excellence report was provided by the National Institute of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice.

The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Justice.

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