Assessment of the relationship between drowning and fluid accumulation in the paranasal sinuses on post-mortem computed tomography

Yusuke Kawasumi, Tomoyoshi Kawabata, Yusuke Sugai, Akihito Usui, Yoshiyuki Hosokai, Miho Satoh, Haruo Saito, Tadashi Ishibashi, Yoshie Hayashizaki, Masato Funayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent reports have detailed common computed tomography (CT) findings in drowning victims, most notably fluid accumulation in the maxillary and sphenoidal sinuses. This CT finding could help forensic doctors to diagnose drowning. This study retrospectively investigated 151 subjects: 39 drowning and 112 non-drowning cases. Pearson's chi-square tests demonstrated that fluid accumulation in the maxillary or sphenoidal sinuses was associated significantly with drowning (p = 0.0001). The sensitivity of the drowning diagnosis was 97%, specificity was 35%, accuracy was 51%, positive predictive value was 34% and negative predictive value was 98%. Drowning was significantly associated with fluid accumulation in the maxillary and sphenoidal sinuses, but the specificity and positive predictive value of the drowning diagnosis were poor. Although the presence of fluid in the maxillary and sphenoidal sinuses cannot be used to diagnose drowning, the absence of the fluid can be used to virtually exclude drowning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3953-3955
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Volume81
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Dec

Keywords

  • Drowning
  • Forensic medicine
  • Paranasal sinuses
  • Postmortem changes
  • Spiral computed
  • Tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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