Pneumomediastinum and Soft Tissue Emphysema in Pediatric Hanging

Tessa Sieswerda-Hoogendoorn, Anne S. Strik, Nick F.J. Hilgersom, Vidija Soerdjbalie-Maikoe, Rick R. van Rijn

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftArtikelpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)


Postmortem computed tomography (CT) is increasingly being used as a tool in forensic pathology. The exact value of postmortem imaging in detecting specific conditions has not yet been established, but in specific cases, it can be used as a diagnostic tool demonstrating findings that remain undetected during autopsy, as in this case. Pneumomediastinum and soft tissue emphysema were detected with postmortem CT in a 3-year-old girl after hanging. It was not found during autopsy. This radiological finding matches 3 adult cases previously described. It is assumed that in this case, the first reported in a child, hanging was the most likely cause as well. In the adult cases, it was interpreted as a vital sign; the person must have been alive to create a pressure gradient causing rupture of the alveoli. This case demonstrates one of the added values of postmortem imaging, the possibility of demonstrating findings that remain undetected during autopsy.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)559-563
Aantal pagina's5
TijdschriftJournal of Forensic Sciences
Nummer van het tijdschrift2
StatusGepubliceerd - mrt. 2014
Extern gepubliceerdJa


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