© 2009

Handbook of Autopsy Practice

  • Brenda L. Waters
  • Completely revised and updated new edition of a classic

  • Recommended procedures and their expected findings tabulated by disease

  • Six completely new chapters

  • Detailed discussion of the safe handling of sharps

  • Updated with new diseases and recent references


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Autopsy Techniques and Procedures

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 3-9
    3. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 11-26
    4. William D. Edwards, Dylan V. Miller
      Pages 27-49
    5. Caterina Giannini, Haruo Okazaki
      Pages 51-68
    6. R. Jean Campbell, Cheryl R. Hann
      Pages 69-76
    7. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 77-83
    8. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 85-88
    9. Vernard I. Adams
      Pages 89-91
    10. Gordon W. Dewald
      Pages 93-97
    11. Jurgen Ludwig
      Pages 99-103
    12. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 111-124
    13. Vernard I. Adams
      Pages 125-136
    14. Vernard I. Adams
      Pages 137-143
    15. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 145-149
    16. Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 151-156
  3. Alphabetic Listing of Diseases and Conditions

  4. Normal Weights and Measurements

    1. Hagen Blaszyk, William D. Edwards, Jurgen Ludwig, Brenda L. Waters
      Pages 541-574

About this book


Handbook of Autopsy Practice, Fourth Edition is a testament to the continued evolution of autopsy pathology. In this updated and expanded new edition, the editors cover technological advancements and discuss skills that are necessary in order to perform the most efficient autopsy possible. These skills include efficient and safe dissection techniques, appropriate handling of unexpected findings, meticulous written and photographic documentation, accurate interpretation of findings and finally, timely, compassionate and professional communication with families, physicians and legal counsel.

Handbook of Autopsy Practice, Fourth Edition is divided into three parts. Part I contains six new chapters in which the reader will find an assortment of tools that will increase the value of the autopsy. Included in the section are valuable resources and tools such as a sample next-of-kin letter, a quality assurance worksheet, new discourse on the dissection procedure which is accompanied by a worksheet and template for the gross description. There is also a new, detailed discussion of the safe handling of sharps, complete with photographs and the reader will also find the updated requirements of the Eye Bank of America and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for ocular tissue transplantation. Part II has been updated with new diseases and recent references added. Practicing autopsy pathologists, residents and students are invited to review this alphabetical listing of disorders before each autopsy in order to re-acquaint themselves with what they might encounter. Part III provides a series of tables providing organ weights and body measurements for fetuses, children and adults. Handbook of Autopsy Practice Fourth Edition is an essential resource for clinicians, pathologists, residents and students who strive to hone their trade and increase the value of the autopsies they perform.


Autopsy Autopsy Chemistry Autopsy Laboratory Autopsy Microbiology Dissection Postmortem

Editors and affiliations

  • Brenda L. Waters
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Pathology and Laboratory MedicineUniversity of VermontUSA
  2. 2.Fletcher Allen Health CareBurlingtonUSA

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Handbook of Autopsy Practice
  • Editors Brenda L. Waters
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Humana Press 2009
  • Publisher Name Humana Press
  • eBook Packages Medicine Medicine (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-1-58829-841-6
  • Softcover ISBN 978-1-61737-801-0
  • eBook ISBN 978-1-59745-127-7
  • Edition Number 4
  • Number of Pages XII, 596
  • Number of Illustrations 0 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics Forensic Medicine
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors


From the reviews of the fourth edition:

"This is a comprehensive look at all aspects of autopsy practice, from gross examination to the reporting of findings. Six new chapters have been added to this edition, and updates are included on molecular testing and new disease entries with current references. … This book is aimed at autopsy pathologists, including forensic pathologists and pathologists in training. … The section on disease findings is a valuable resource for in-training or practicing pathologists. This is a good reference for any autopsy service." (Katie L. Dennis, Doody’s Review Service, August, 2009)

"The book … dedicated to autopsy practice that can serve as a quick and ready reference. … Pathology trainees and pathology assistants will benefit from the perusal of this book. … those new to autopsy practice will, after perusing this work, develop desirable practices that enhance patient care." (Syed A. Hoda and Carrie Basenceney, Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 302 (20), November, 2009)

“‘Handbook of Autopsy Practice’ by Brenda Waters is a most important contribution to clinical as well as to forensic pathology. … a useful reference and might serve even the experienced prosector in discovering new ways of dissection. … Overall, the fourth edition of the handbook is superb. It should be an essential part of the standard equipment of each autopsy room. … forensic pathologists should not miss reading the book in order to gain more confidence in the overlapping aspects of clinical and forensic pathology.” (Jan P. Sperhake, Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology, Vol. 6, 2010)