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  • Poster presentation
  • Open Access

Significance of postmortem computed tomography in death diagnosis: investigation of the characteristics in patients with cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival

  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1,
  • 1 and
  • 1
Critical Care200711 (Suppl 2) :P434

https://doi.org/10.1186/cc5594

  • Published:

Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Compute Tomography
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Cardiopulmonary Arrest
  • Final Diagnosis

Introduction

Autopsy is a very useful method in analysis of the cause of death. However, the number of those actual enforcements of autopsy has been getting less and less recently. Now, autopsy imaging is very important as an alternative method to autopsy. We evaluated the characteristics in patients with cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival and studied the usefulness of postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) in death diagnosis.

Patients and methods

We analyzed consecutive patients with cardiopulmonary arrest on arrival from October 1997 to November 2006. Total number of patients was 127. We studied the multiple factors in sex, age, trauma or nontrauma, whether or not PMCT, cause of death and final diagnosis. We especially compared the two groups: PMCT(+) and PMCT(-).

Results

Seventy patients (55.1%) were men, and 57 (44.9%) were women. Autopsy was done in only three patients. The number of trauma cases was 21 (16.5%) and nontrauma was 106 (83.5%). PMCT was done in 20 patients (15.7%) and it was possible to decide the final diagnosis in 16 (80%). Among 20 patients, there were six trauma cases and we could diagnose the cause of death in all of them. On the other hand, PMCT was not done in 107 patients (84.3%) and we could estimate the cause of death in just 43 (40.2%).

Conclusion

We must make more effort to decide the cause of death. Reliable death diagnosis could lead to more effective cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Our date obviously indicated that PMCT was a very effective and powerful method for death diagnosis, especially in trauma cases.

Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Oita University School of Medicine, Oita, Japan

Copyright

© BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

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