Diagnosis of drowning using post-mortem computed tomography based on the volume and density of fluid accumulation in the maxillary and sphenoid sinuses

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent studies have reported that drowning victims frequently have fluid accumulation in the paranasal sinuses, most notably the maxillary and sphenoid sinuses. However, in our previous study, many nondrowning victims also had fluid accumulation in the sinuses. Therefore, we evaluated the qualitative difference in fluid accumulation between drowning and non-drowning cases in the present study. Thirtyeight drowning and 73 non-drowning cases were investigated retrospectively. The fluid volume and density of each case were calculated using a DICOM workstation. The drowning cases were compared with the non-drowning cases using the Mann-Whitney U-test because the data showed non-normal distribution. The median fluid volume was 1.82 (range 0.02-11.7) ml in the drowning cases and 0.49 (0.03-8.7) ml in the non-drowning cases, and the median fluid density was 22 (-14 to 66) and 39 (-65 to 77) HU, respectively. Both volume and density differed significantly between the drowning and nondrowning cases (p = 0.001, p = 0.0007). Regarding cut-off levels in the ROC analysis, the points on the ROC curve closest (0, 1) were 1.03 ml (sensitivity 68%, specificity 68%, PPV 53%, NPV 81%) and 27.5 HU (61%, 70%, 51%, 77%). The Youden indices were 1.03 ml and 37.8 HU (84%, 51%, 47%, 86%). When the cut-off level was set at 1.03 ml and 27.5 HU, the sensitivity was 42%, specificity 45%, PPV 29% and NPV 60%. When the cut-off level was set at 1.03 ml and 37.8 HU, sensitivity was 58%, specificity 32%, PPV 31% and NPV 59%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e562-e566
JournalEuropean Journal of Radiology
Volume82
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Oct

Keywords

  • Computed tomography
  • Drowning
  • Forensic medicine
  • Paranasal sinuses
  • Post-mortem changes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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