Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New non-surgical autopsy technique set to revolutionise post-mortem practice

01.03.2011
Breakthrough science is cost-effective and easy to use
A new non-surgical post-mortem technique that has the potential to revolutionise the way autopsies are conducted around the world has been pioneered by forensic pathologists and radiologists at the University of Leicester in collaboration with the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
 
The technique developed by a team in the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, at the University of Leicester, has been published today (1 March) in International Journal of Legal Medicine. This paper presents the development of the methodology and protocol for this technique from independent research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
 
The study has taken another step towards a minimally invasive autopsy for natural and unnatural deaths, for either single cases or mass fatalities. It could also potentially allay qualms from certain faith groups that object to autopsies.
 
Professor Guy Rutty, Chief Forensic Pathologist to the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit, which is part of the Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, University of Leicester, said the pilot study had demonstrated the potential of the technique to change the future of post-mortem procedures.
 
He said: “Autopsies are not popular with the general public and are viewed with great distaste.  There are a number of faith groups who voice objections to the autopsy. The development of a minimally invasive autopsy technique would reduce the overall number of invasive autopsies performed in the UK but would still provide a service to the Coroner and determine the cause of a person’s death. Currently, without the use of angiography, cardiac related death cannot be reliably diagnosed using a post mortem CT (Computed Tomography) scan so we needed to develop a system that could do this.”
 
“In collaboration with the radiology team, lead by Professor Bruno Morgan, we have successfully developed a quick and simple technique of ‘minimally invasive targeted coronary angiography’ where we inject contrast into the body of a deceased person through a small incision in the neck and then perform a full body CT scan. Using this method we are able to determine the cause of death in up to 80% of cases (in the series analysed to date).
 
“Basically, the technique is used to highlight and examine the vessels of the heart in people who have died. The technique is inexpensive, easy to use and applicable to natural and unnatural death, both single and mass fatalities.”
 
Professor Rutty explained the technique was novel because it uses catheterisation, contrast and imaging techniques that have not been reported previously. “Developing a new catheterisation system and using two different types of contrast to highlight the coronary vessels (air and standard coronary radio-opaque contrast media) sets us apart from other research groups,” he said.
 
Professor Rutty added:  “We were the first Unit in the world to our knowledge to propose targeted angiography as the way forward, and are now the first to describe the development, methodology and protocols involved for cadaver cardiac CT angiography.  Other groups have done whole body angiography which is time consuming and expensive and is unlikely to be implemented in the UK for everyday autopsies. 
 
“We are incredibly excited about the potential of this new research. This technique could see the beginning of a permanent change in autopsy practice in the UK, with fewer autopsies being performed.  This technique could be used in other centres across the world.”
 
The research paper presents the results from an initial pilot of 24 cases.  The University team will now complete a further 200 cases this year to further evaluate the technique and build a bigger evidence base.
 
For more information, contact:
 
Professor Guy N Rutty MBE
Chief Forensic Pathologist
East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit
University of Leicester
Tel: 0044 116 252 3221
gnr3@le.ac.uk
 
 
1.         This paper presents independent research commissioned by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) under its Research for Innovation, Speculation and Creativity (RISC) Programme (Grant Reference Number RC-PG-0309-10052). The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the NHS, the NIHR or the Department of Health.
 
2.         The East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit  wish to thank the relatives who consented for their recently departed loved ones to be part of this study. The team also wish to thank H.M.Coroner offices for North and South Leicestershire for their support of this project as well as the porters, radiographers and support staff of both the University Hospitals of Leicester and University of Leicester who support this project.
 
3.         The National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) provides the framework through which the research staff and research infrastructure of the NHS in England is positioned, maintained and managed as a national research facility. The NIHR provides the NHS with the support and infrastructure it needs to conduct first-class research funded by the Government and its partners alongside high-quality patient care, education and training. Its aim is to support outstanding individuals (both leaders and collaborators), working in world-class facilities (both NHS and university), conducting leading-edge research focused on the needs of patients. www.nihr.ac.uk
 
  
Press Office Contact
 
Ather Mirza
Press Office
Division of Corporate Affairs and Planning
University of Leicester
tel: 0116 252 3335
email: pressoffice@le.ac.uk

Ather Mirza | University of Leicester
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht PET identifies which prostate cancer patients can benefit from salvage radiation treatment
05.12.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

nachricht Designing a golden nanopill
01.12.2017 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>