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Thursday, June 03, 2010

VIRTUAL AUTOPSIES






From 1990 comes consolidating the called virtual forensic pathology: Virtopsy. In Switzerland, a man that run his car over his wife against the wall of the garage, alleged that it was an accident. Michael Thali (University of Bern's Institute of Forensic Medicine), called for a second opinion, makes a virtual autopsy. Using a computarised tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MRI), he created a 3D double of the woman's body and of the surface of the car, combining them with marks of the garage, of the floor, of pieces of painting of the wall and removed fragments of the car, reconstructing the events in 3D. Thali said that the car went back 2 times in intentional form killing the woman. Virtual autopsies diminish the stréss of the relatives, reduce the human error of pathologists and allow a permanent registration of the intact cadaver.


The dead's body is subjected to a CT scanner that organizes courts in 3D of the body and of internal organs. The CT examines the bones well. For soft tissues it is better the MRI. A Virtobot (robot), provided of a needle, takes biopsies of internal organs. Also can be carried out CT angiographies, injecting contrast material to dead's blood vessels revealing other lesions. Toxicological test are carried out separately. It is possible to carry out reconstructions in seconds or minutes in 3D and to detect embolisms of different types. Although sometimes are made simultaneously autopsies and virtopsias, sometimes is enough with the last. Virtopsias are ideal to study Egyptian or South American mummies. The technique allows to process hundred of bodies coming from natural disasters, with machines operated by a single technician. When prices diminish and more machines will be available, virtopsias could be part of forensic pathology units.


AUTOPSIAS VIRTUALES


Desde 1990 viene consolidándose la denominada patologia forense virtual: Virtopsy. En Suiza, un hombre que atropelló a su esposa contra la pared del garaje, alegó que fué un accidente. Michael Thali (University of Bern's Institute of Forensic Medicine), llamado para una segunda opinión, efectuó una autopsia virtual. Usando tomografia computarizada (CT) y resonancia magnetica (MRI), creó un doble del cuerpo injuriado de la mujer y de la superficie del carro, combinandolas con marcas del garaje, del piso, trozos de pintura de la pared y fragmentos desprendidos del carro, reconstruyendo los eventos en 3D. Thali dijo que el carro retrocedió 2 veces en forma intencional matando a la mujer. Las autopsias virtuales disminuyen el estrés de los familiares, reducen el error humano de los patólogos y permiten un registro permanente del cadaver intacto.


El cuerpo del muerto es sometido a un CT scanner, que organiza cortes en 3D del cuerpo y de los órganos internos. El CT examina bien los huesos. Para los tejidos blandos es mejor el MRI. Un Virtobot (robot), provisto de una aguja, toma biopsias de organos internos. Se pueden realizar angiografías CT, inyectando material de contraste a los vasos sanguineos del muerto revelando otras lesiones. Los tests toxicológicos se realizan separadamente. Es posible realizar reconstruccciones en segundos o minutos en 3D y detectar embolismos de distinto tipo. Aunque a veces se efectúan simultáneamente autopsias y virtopsias, a veces es suficiente con las ultimas. Las virtopsias son ideales para estudiar momias egipcias o sudamericanas. La técnica permite procesar cientos de cuerpos procedentes de desastres naturales, con maquinas que pueden ser operadas por un solo tecnico. Cuando los precios disminuyan y las maquinas esten disponibles, las virtopsias formaran parte del arsenal de patologia forense.

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