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IMA for virtual autopsy to find cause in unexplained deaths

New Delhi, Jan 5 (PTI) The Indian Medical Association (IMA) today batted for conducting virtopsy (virtual autopsy) at the clinical level in cases of unexplained deaths, noting a rise in number of such casualties.

Virtual autopsies can be facilitated by currently available techniques like whole body CT, whole body MRI, post mortem angiography and molecular autopsy, the association said.

“Virtual autopsy can be the answer in finding the cause of death and also evaluate the cause in unexplained deaths. Finding the cause and keeping a record of it is necessary to prevent similar deaths. It (virtopsy) is also the answer for most medicolegal (medical and legal) disputes.

“In every death case, IMA members should give an option for virtual biopsy and informed refusal must be noted,” Dr K K Aggarwal, national president of IMA, said.

He said considering the increasing number of unexplained deaths in the medicolegal and non-medicolegal settings, virtual autopsies may help accelerate the investigation process.

Due guidelines for ethical practice of Virtopsy should also be defined to prevent any misuse, Aggarwal said.

“Virtopsy or virtual autopsy is an alternative to traditional autopsy, conducted with scanning and imaging technology. The methods used are whole body or limited CT and or MRI. One can add to it CT-guided post mortem biopsies for histopathological and genetic correlations.

“CT is well suited to show foreign objects, bone and air or gas distribution throughout the body, whereas MRI sequences are strong in detailing organ and soft tissue findings,” Dr RN Tandon, Secretary General of IMA, said.

Virtual autopsy using the whole body CT scan or MRI can be done in no time and will leave no scar which may offer a reliable alternative to conventional autopsy in certain cases, Tandon added. PTI PLB KIS

Published by India Today