Longitudinal comparison of ascites attenuation between antemortem and postmortem computed tomography.

Research paper by Masanori M Ishida, Wataru W Gonoi, Hiroyuki H Abe, Go G Shirota, Kotaro K Fujimoto, Naomasa N Okimoto, Tetsuo T Ushiku, Osamu O Abe

Indexed on: 27 Feb '21Published on: 27 Feb '21Published in: Forensic Science International


To investigate the changes in ascites attenuation between antemortem (AMCT) and postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) analyses of the same subjects. Thirty-five subjects who underwent unenhanced or enhanced AMCT within 7 days before death, unenhanced PMCT, and autopsy were evaluated. In each subject, ascites attenuation was measured at similar sites on AMCT and PMCT. Attenuation changes were evaluated in 42 unenhanced AMCT/PMCT site pairs (23 subjects) and 20 enhanced AMCT/PMCT site pairs (12 subjects). Factors contributing to CT attenuation changes were also assessed, including the time interval between AMCT and PMCT, serum albumin level, estimated glomerular filtration rate, and ascites volume. Significantly elevated CT attenuation was observed between enhanced AMCT and PMCT (12.2 ± 6.3 vs. 18.7 ± 10.4 Hounsfield units; paired t-test, p = 0.006), but not between unenhanced AMCT and PMCT (13.5 ± 8.9 vs. 13.4 ± 9.3; p = 0.554). A significant inverse association was observed between the degree of CT attenuation change and the time interval between enhanced AMCT and PMCT (Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, r = -0.56, p = 0.01). We confirmed an elevated level of ascites attenuation on PMCT relative to AMCT in subjects who underwent enhanced AMCT shortly before death. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.