Objectives: To evaluate the post-mortem computed tomography (PMCT) findings of intervertebral separation. Methods: 10 subjects who had undergone PMCT and forensic autopsy were evaluated. The median age was 69 years (range, 25-89 years), and all subjects were men. 19 intervertebral separations were identified at autopsy. 2 radiologists reviewed the CT findings such as misalignment of the spine, intervertebral space widening, gas in the intervertebral space, and haemorrhage in the tissues surrounding the spine before and after autopsy using a 3D DICOM workstation. Results: The observers detected 6 of 19 (32%) intervertebral separations before autopsy. After autopsy, they reviewed the CT considering the autopsy results and detected 13 of 19 (68%) intervertebral separations; misalignment (n=7; 37%), widening (n=5; 26%), gas (n=2; 11%), and haemorrhage (n=7; 37%). No finding indicating intervertebral separation was detected in 6 intervertebral separations. Conclusion: Re-evaluation with autopsy results improved the detectability of intervertebral separation on PMCT. Adequate experience and training regarding the interpretation are required.
- Cervical spine
- Forensic autopsy
- Hyperextension (over-extension)
- Post-mortem CT
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging