Post-mortem computed tomography findings of the frozen brain

Yusuke Kawasumi, Akihito Usui, Tomoya Ikeda, Tadashi Ishibashi, Masato Funayama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Post-mortem computed tomography (CT) is a valuable tool in forensic medicine. Determination of cause of death may require examination of a corpse found in a frozen state. However, most radiologists are unfamiliar with the post-mortem appearance of frozen organs on CT. Here we present two cases that included CT study of the frozen brain. Both bodies were naturally frozen, and autopsies showed that the cause of death was hypothermia in both instances. On post-mortem CT images, the frozen brains exhibited hypodense areas resembling infarctions, but these were not in regions dominated by blood vessels. Residual open sulci were evident, suggesting that oedema was absent. These two features are helpful when diagnosing a frozen brain on CT images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-40
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Sep


  • Frozen brain
  • Post-mortem CT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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