ANCHOR LEAD: A GROWING NUMBER OF AUTOPSIES ARE DONE USING CT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Autopsies or postmortem exams are not routinely performed unless a death is suspicious or entirely unexpected, but that may change now that CT is being used instead of a scalpel. Eliot Fishman, a CT expert at Johns Hopkins, says the exam couldn’t be easier.
FISHMAN: We can do a CT scan in a minute, it doesn’t violate the body, which many people because of religious reasons do not want to do, or time, and it provides a lot of information. :09
Such examinations can allow researchers to assess how often common medical conditions occur that don’t cause death.
FISHMAN: I think it’s something of interest, I think it’s something you’re going to see more about because so much of CT, with it being faster and higher resolution really gives you lots of information and people are looking at ways to really use that information to improve how we do things. :14
Doing a CT scan after someone has died can also help assess how effective treatments were. Fishman predicts that families will be getting many more requests to allow virtual autopsies in the future. I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.