Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Unmasking the hidden burden of tuberculosis in Mozambique

The real burden of tuberculosis is probably higher than estimated, according to a study on samples from autopsies performed in a Mozambican hospital. The study, led by the Barcelona Institute of Global Health (ISGlobal), ...

Radiology & Imaging

Minimally invasive autopsy improves postmortem diagnoses

Minimally invasive autopsy with CT and MRI performs as well as conventional autopsy in detecting cause of death and has the advantage of yielding more diagnoses, according to a study published in the journal Radiology.

Cardiology

Genomic autopsy can help solve unexplained cardiac death

Molecular autopsies can reveal genetic risk factors in young people who unexpectedly die, but proper interpretation of the results can be challenging, according to a recent study published in Circulation.

Cardiology

Postmortem cardiac implantable device interrogation useful

(HealthDay)—Postmortem cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) interrogation can improve the accuracy of identification of the time and cause of death at forensic autopsy, according to a study published in the June ...

Genetics

Molecular autopsy may shed light on sudden death in young

(HealthDay)—Ultrarare, nonsynonymous variants are seen in 64 percent of victims of sudden unexplained death in the young (SUDY), with 10 of the 27 variants considered pathogenic or likely pathogenic, according to a study ...

Cardiology

Studying heart disease after death can help the living

Autopsy is often an overlooked source of medical insight which may be hindering advances in cardiovascular medicine, according to new research published in a special issue of the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

Health

Transitional methods for determining causes of death

Improved tools are under development for determining the causes of death in settings where medical examinations or post-mortem autopsies are not routinely conducted. The population-based approach, namely verbal autopsy using ...

Cardiology

Post-mortem CT angiography illuminates causes of death

CT angiography is a useful adjunct to autopsy that is likely to increase the quality of post-mortem diagnosis, according to a study appearing online in the journal Radiology. Researchers said the findings could have important ...

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Autopsy

An autopsy, also known as a post-mortem examination, necropsy (particularly as to animals), autopsia cadaverum, or obduction, is a medical procedure that consists of a thorough examination of a corpse to determine the cause and manner of death and to evaluate any disease or injury that may be present. It is usually performed by a specialized medical doctor called a pathologist.

Autopsies are either performed for legal or medical purposes. For example a forensic autopsy is carried out when the cause of death may be a criminal matter, while a clinical or academic autopsy is performed to find the medical cause of death and is used in cases of unknown or uncertain death, or for research purposes. Autopsies can be further classified into cases where external examination suffices, and those where the body is dissected and internal examination is conducted. Permission from next of kin may be required for internal autopsy in some cases. Once an internal autopsy is complete the body is reconstituted by sewing it back together.

The word is from Ancient Greek with αυτος (autos) meaning to do something to oneself and όψις (opsis) meaning eye hence autopsy means 'to see for oneself'; it is used more broadly of personal examination of an object, as well as its specific usage for the post-mortem examination of a human corpse.

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