Radiology for Postmortem

  • Stefania ZerboEmail author
  • Laura Scopelliti
  • Federica Vernuccio
  • Giuseppe Lo Re
  • Antonina Argo
  • Magdy Kharoshah


Thanatology deals with the study of early and postmortem changes in relation to the estimation of the time since death. These normal postmortem changes depend on internal and external factors, such as body temperature, preexisting conditions, underlying disease or injury, and the postmortem interval.

Although the postmortem imaging has been validated to be a reasonable alternative to conventional autopsy to detect potential causes and manner of death in trauma cases and in identification of dead corpses, the use of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is recently becoming a potential tool to understand and investigate the early and later postmortem changes. The authors report on current utility, limitations, and ongoing developments of radiologic methods in postmortem changes.


Postmortem imaging Time of death Forensic imaging Postmortem changes Livor mortis Rigor mortis Putrefaction 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefania Zerbo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura Scopelliti
    • 2
  • Federica Vernuccio
    • 2
  • Giuseppe Lo Re
    • 2
  • Antonina Argo
    • 1
  • Magdy Kharoshah
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Department for Health Promotion, Maternal and Child CareUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyPoliclinic Hospital PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Dammam Forensic Medicine CenterDammamKingdom of Saudi Arabia
  4. 4.Jeddah Forensic Medicine CenterJeddahKingdom of Saudi Arabia

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