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Postmortem imaging of myocardial infarction in correlation to autopsy.

The project aims on implementing MR imaging as a postmortem non-invasive investigation method for human corpses and on its validation on myocardial infarction cases compared to the cardiac autopsy findings. Furthermore, the MR scanning technique will be adapted to postmortem conditions that differ to some extent from the vital scanning conditions. This is especially true for the body core temperature and the missing of an ongoing circulation. The project is performed in a close collaboration of the CMIV and the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Linköping.

  • Principal Investigator:
    Anders Persson
  • Main Supervisor:
    Anders Persson
  • Medical Area:
    Cardiovascular System
    Forensic Medicine
  • Technical Area:
    Data Acquisition and Reconstruction
    Visualization and Image Enhancement
  • Modality:
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Medical Activity:
    Research
  • Technical Activity:
    Research
  • Grants:
    300 kSEK
  • Financial Body:
    300.000 Visualization program Light Project.
  • Financial Support:
    Industry
  • Man Months:
    12
  • Project Duration:
    2007/06/04 - 2009/06/03
  • Former Staff:
  • Project Description:
  • The clinical autopsy numbers are decreasing since several years now and this trend is going on. Predominantly, the declining acceptance of the autopsy within the population that complicates getting consent for a clinical autopsy from the next of kin contributes to the low autopsy numbers. Thereby reliable postmortem information that is crucial for quality control within the medical care system, for medical education and for national mortality statistics becomes less available. This not only affects the actual heath care system in general but also the planning and focusing of further research projects in health care.

    Postmortem MR imaging is a totally non-invasive investigation technique that can be alternatively applied on human corpses for the purpose of a cause of death assessment. The so far acquired experiences are very promising(1-3) but need more substantial research validating it to today’s gold standard of postmortem investigation, namely the autopsy. In this context especially the postmortem cardiac imaging is important as the cardiac death represents the major fraction of natural deaths within the western world.

    The project aims on implementing MR imaging as a postmortem non-invasive investigation method for human corpses and on its validation on myocardial infarction cases compared to the cardiac autopsy findings. Furthermore, the MR scanning technique will be adapted to postmortem conditions that differ to some extent from the vital scanning conditions. This is especially true for the body core temperature and the missing of an ongoing circulation. The project is performed in a close collaboration of the CMIV and the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Linköping.

    Human corpses that have a case history making a cardiac cause of death very likely will undergo cardiac MR scanning and the cardiac findings will be correlated to the cardiac findings at autopsy. This will include a correlation of signalateration to histological appearance as well as a comparision of the results of an infarction quantification in both methods.

    References

    1. Jackowski C. Macroscopical and histological findings in comparison with CT- and MRI- examinations of isolated autopsy hearts. Thesis, 2003; Institute of Forensic Medicine, O.-v.-G.-University of Magdeburg.

    2. Jackowski C, Schweitzer W, Thali M, Yen K, Aghayev E, Sonnenschein M, et al. Virtopsy: postmortem imaging of the human heart in situ using MSCT and MRI. Forensic Sci Int 2005; 149:11-23.

    3. Jackowski C, Christe A, Sonnenschein M, Aghayev E, Thali MJ. Postmortem unenhanced magnetic resonance imaging of myocardial infarction in correlation to histological infarction age characterization. Eur Heart J 2006; 27:2459-2467.

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Your generosity can change lives for ever. Perhaps even yours. To contribute to our progress, please contact:
Anders Persson
Phone: +46 (0)10 - 103 8906
E-mail: anders.persson@cmiv.liu.se

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