Management of medicolegal natural deaths from hemopericardium or hemothorax using postmortem CT scanning


At the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine the forensic pathologist provides expert medical advice to the Coroner. Cases of natural death from hemopericardium and hemothorax are reasonably common in the forensic setting and are readily identifiable on postmortem CT (PMCT) scanning. The management of these cases raises interesting and challenging issues for the forensic pathologist. We present three cases in which PMCT angiography was useful in the management of each individual case and illustrate the potential of the technique in medico-legal death investigation.

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Correspondence to Michael Burke.

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Burke, M., Parsons, S. & Bassed, R. Management of medicolegal natural deaths from hemopericardium or hemothorax using postmortem CT scanning. Forensic Sci Med Pathol 8, 367–372 (2012).

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  • Hemopericardium
  • Hemothorax
  • Postmortem CT scan (PMCT)
  • Postmortem CT angiogram (PMCTA)