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Postmortem computed tomographic features in the diagnosis of drowning: a comparison of fresh water and salt water drowning cases

  • Makoto Sugawara
  • Koichi Ishiyama
  • Satoshi Takahashi
  • Takahiro Otani
  • Makoto Koga
  • Osamu Watanabe
  • Masazumi Matsuda
  • Tomoyuki Asano
  • Noriko Takagi
  • Tomoki Tozawa
  • Yuki Wada
  • Aoi Otaka
  • Satoshi Kumagai
  • Motoko Sasajima
  • Manabu Hashimoto
Original Article
  • 27 Downloads

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the effectiveness of postmortem computed tomography in the diagnosis of drowning, focusing on the comparison of fresh water and salt water cases using three-dimensionally (3D) reconstructed data.

Materials and methods

We examined features of drowning in 25 fresh water drowning cases (FWDCs; 13 men, 12 women; mean age 73.1 years; range 43–95 years), and compared these with 12 salt water drowning cases (SWDCs; 5 men, 7 women; mean age 66.0 years; range 55–77 years). Pulmonary opacities, volume and density (CT number) of accumulated fluid in the paranasal sinuses and central airways, volume of the stomach/stomach contents, and cardiac blood density were examined.

Results

In SWDCs, pulmonary ground-glass opacities with wholly thickened interstitium was frequently identified (P = 0.0274). Whereas in FWDCs, a significantly larger volume and lower density of fluid in the paranasal sinuses (P = 0.0195 and P = 0.0104, respectively), lower density of fluid in the central airways (P = 0.0077), lower stomach content density (P = 0.0216), lower density in the left atrium (P = 0.0029), and a difference of density between the atria (P = 0.0247) were observed.

Conclusions

A lower density in the left atrium was observed in FWDCs compared to SWDCs. This finding may be helpful in differentiating between FWDCs and SWDCs.

Keywords

Postmortem CT Drowning Ground-glass opacity CT number Hemodilution 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank Mr. Naoto Taniguchi (radiological technologist) for his advice and assistance with the reconstruction of PMCT images of the lungs.

Funding

This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Ethical statement

The present study was approved by the appropriate institutional review board, who waived the requirement for informed consent due to the nature of the study.

Supplementary material

11604_2018_802_MOESM1_ESM.doc (36 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 35 kb)

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Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Makoto Sugawara
    • 1
  • Koichi Ishiyama
    • 1
  • Satoshi Takahashi
    • 1
  • Takahiro Otani
    • 1
  • Makoto Koga
    • 1
  • Osamu Watanabe
    • 1
  • Masazumi Matsuda
    • 1
  • Tomoyuki Asano
    • 1
  • Noriko Takagi
    • 1
  • Tomoki Tozawa
    • 1
  • Yuki Wada
    • 1
  • Aoi Otaka
    • 1
  • Satoshi Kumagai
    • 1
  • Motoko Sasajima
    • 1
  • Manabu Hashimoto
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Diagnostic RadiologyAkita University HospitalAkitaJapan

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