1st Edition

The Virtopsy Approach 3D Optical and Radiological Scanning and Reconstruction in Forensic Medicine

Edited By Michael Thali, Richard Dirnhofer, Peter Vock Copyright 2009
    540 Pages 649 Color & 300 B/W Illustrations
    by CRC Press

    Charred, badly decomposed, or mummified corpses, as well as those restrictions forced upon coroners by certain religious sects, often make autopsies impossible to perform. In addition, lack of manpower among the personnel charged with performing autopsies frequently creates a backlog of cases in the coroner’s office. This delay increases the likelihood that causes of death will go undetermined and criminal perpetrators will go unpunished. The solution can be found in what has come to be known as the virtopsy®, a minimally invasive and efficient way to perform an autopsy through state-of-the-art imaging-guided means.

    A term coined by noted forensic pathologist Richard Dirnhofer, virtopsy refers to "virtual autopsy," a modality that employs a spectrum of technologies including computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy, and 3D photogrammetry and surface scanning. In The Virtopsy Approach: 3D Optical and Radiological Scanning and Reconstruction in Forensic Medicine, the authors reveal a comprehensive summary of the virtopsy procedure. Well-organized, detailed enough to serve as a how-to guide for newcomers to the field, and copiously illustrated with many color figures accompanied by appropriate explanatory captions, this volume breaks new ground in the world of autopsy science.

    (R)evolution in Forensic Medicine - Preface
    From Autopsy to Virtopsy: Oral Description Versus Image – Value of Evidence
    History of Virtopsy – How it all began…
    "Virtopsy ® after more than some 100 cases: Statement and Perspectives of Forensic Imaging by using 3D Optical and combined CT / MRI Whole Body Scanning"
    Legal Side
    Virtopsy and the Law
    The Extraordinary Death
    Virtopsy and the Swiss Legal system - New Evidence Law in Forensic Medicine?
    Imaging and Visualization Methods / Explanation of Technique
    External Body Documentation
    Historical Development of Geometric Documentation of Wounds in Forensic Medicine
    Photogrammetrical 3D Documentation
    Optical 3D Surface Scanning
    Photogrammetry and 3D Surface Scanning of the Deceased
    Digitizing of Injuries of Living Persons
    Internal Body Documentation
    Conventional Radiography
    X-ray Computed Tomography
    Basics of MR Imaging and Spectroscopy
    Virtual Histology by Magnetic Resonance Microscopy
    3D Visualization of Radiological Data
    Visualization of Radiological Data - Basics
    Visualization of Radiological Data - Future
    Storage of Radiological Data  (PACS)
    The Virtopsy Database
    Head to toe: Forensic Atlas and Application of Imaging  techniques
    Intravital Versus Post-Mortem Imaging
    The Virtopsy Project – a Historical Overview of the Literature
    External Body Documentation
    3D Photogrammetric Analysis of Injuries
    Generation of 3D Models from the Surface Scanning Data
    Visualization of the 3D Models in True Color
    Internal Body Documentation
    Conventional Radiology
    Computed Tomography – CT
    Magnetic Resonance Imaging – MRI
    Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy  in Forensic Medicine
    Documentation of Extracorporeal Findings
    Injury-Inflicting Instruments
    Incident Scenes
    Forensic Topics
    Radiologic Identification
    Investigation of Decomposing Sheep Brain by Means of 1H-MR-Spectroscopy: An Attempt Towards an Objective PMI Estimation in the Later Postmortem Period
    Vital Reactions / Vital Signs
    Incident Specific
    Natural Death
    Cerebral Pathology in Natural Death
    Cardiac Pathology
    Other Organsystem Pathology
    Post-Mortem Imaging of Blunt Trauma
    Forensic Neuroimaging
    Sharp Trauma
    Fatal Hemorrhage in Post-mortem Cross Sectional Radiology
    Drowning - Post-Mortem Imaging Findings
    Thermal Damage
    Thermal Damage – Heat and Burns
    Clinical Forensic Imaging
    Medical Malpractice
    Virtopsy as a Multi Tool Approach
    Analysis, Visualization and Reconstruction Methods
    Morphologic- Geometric Comparison of Patterned Injuries with the Assumed Injury Causing Tool
    Forensic Reconstruction
    Blood Spatter Analysis
    Footprint Documentation
    Post-Mortem Angiography: Historical Review and Overview of Former and Current Techniques
    Postmortem Minimal Invasive Angiography
    Experiences with Virtual Autopsy Approached Worldwide
    Forensic Veterinary Radiology


    Michael Thali, Richard Dirnhofer, Peter Vock

    This excellent text is not an endpoint in these exciting develop-ments but a stepping-stone which may motivate forensic scientists to tackle the many unsolved problems and questions in forensic science using modem methods that have proven their enormous value in chemistry and medicine.

    —Dr. Michael J. Shkrum, Department of Pathology London Health Sciences Centre, Canadian Society of Forensic Scienc, Vol. 43, No. 1, March 2010

    … an excellent compendium of information about one of the latest techniques of autopsy - the virtual autopsy or virtopsy as it is more commonly known.

    —Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology