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Forensic imaging

July 6, 2023

Forensic imaging

Our department started in 2006 with advanced forensic imaging (virtual autopsies). Soon, after we build up some experience in scanning bodies, we realized that forensic evidence was not the only information a corps could reveal. For instance, a lot of data generated by a CT scan can be used for dosimetric purposes. As presented at the RSNA in 2010, “Evidence for X-ray exposure parameters selection in CT of the brain and petrous bone from comparative measurements on deceased bodies.” This study was part of a global image quality assessment study for post-mortem virtual autopsy scans. The results from this study were used to improve the scanning techniques for the living patients and resulted also in an important decrease of the radiation dose for some regions of the body. Especially at present, reducing radiation dose is a worldwide hot topic. But there is more. Since in 2010 dual energy scans and iterative algorithms were globally introduced, it gave us also the opportunity to explore and improve these data sets and this in close collaboration with our medical imaging and research center (MIRC). We started to develop metal artifact reduction software, crime scene analysis tools, IV contrast administration improvement and reduction and tried to increase image resolution by using existing and new methods while scanning and reconstructing the images. All the data collected during the past years resulted in a “treasure” of information and became therefore also interesting for other medical and non-medical disciplines: forensic orthodontists, anthropologists, geologists, engineers, etc. The obtained data was always created with non-invasive imaging techniques and only after the approval of the forensic pathologist and the deceased's family consent.

Presented by Walter Coudyzer

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