Post-mortem and forensic curriculum

The post-mortem and forensic curriculum is one of our curriculum articles and aims to be a collection of topics that represent core knowledge pertaining to forensic and post-mortem radiology. 


Post-mortem radiology: the radiographic examination of the body after death. 

Forensic radiology: radiological assessment of findings in connection with a medicolegal investigation.

Not surprisingly, much of the emphasis of post-mortem radiology is forensic in nature. There are, however, also basic and fundamental post-mortem radiographic features that affect all post-mortem studies. We, therefore, have chosen to somewhat arbitrarily split the curriculum into these two sections, accepting that there is significant overlap. 


Post-mortem radiology

Post-mortem radiology, sometimes referred to as necro-radiology, encompasses a variety of topics pertaining to the examination of the body with radiographic techniques after death. A substantial part of post-mortem radiology revolves around establishing a “cause of death” with or without a criminal investigation, and therefore also encompasses 'natural causes of death'.

  • techniques
    • post-mortem skeletal survey
    • post-mortem CT
    • post-mortem CT-angiography
    • post-mortem MR
  • radiographic identification
    • dental
    • paranasal sinuses
    • disaster victim identification (DVI)
  • post-mortem changes
    • general post-mortem changes
      • post mortem interval
      • sedimentation and hypostasis
      • putrefaction
      • agony related changes
    • system-specific post-mortem changes
      • cardiovascular post-mortem changes
      • respiratory post-mortem changes
      • abdomen and digestive tract post-mortem changes
      • central nervous system post-mortem changes
      • musculoskeletal post-mortem changes
    • cause-specific post-mortem changes
  • natural causes of death
    • cardiovascular system
    • respiratory system
    • central nervous system
    • abdomen and digestive tract
    • metabolic
Forensic radiology 

Forensic topics are those that often pertain to the legal system, including but not limited to criminal proceedings. Many conditions that can result in death are not universally fatal, and as such the conditions listed here for a spectrum, and post-mortem changes are included in the Radiographic features section. 

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Article information

rID: 53466
System: Forensic
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

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