Gunshot wound to liver

Case contributed by Darin L Wolfe
Diagnosis certain


The victim was a young male; an unfortunate victim of a homicidal gunshot wound.

Patient Data

Gender: Male

Postmortem photograph demonstrating a stellate exit-wound from a gun shot injury to the liver. The wound is due to a large caliber bullet entering through the back, passing through the liver before exiting on the anterolateral surface of the right lobe of the liver. Notice the stellate shape of the wound.

Case Discussion

This appearance is not often seen with GSW to the liver. A high energy missile impact through the liver generally destroys the architecture of the parenchyma leaving no discernible clues as to entrance and exit  (aside from the exam of other organs and tissues in the GSW path). However, this example is unique in that it is a symmetrical, stellate wound which exhibits the common character of exit wounds from the skin--that is, stellate shape as the bullet's energy decreases.

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