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Int J Legal Med. 2015 Jul;129(4):861-7. doi: 10.1007/s00414-014-1099-5. Epub 2014 Nov 8.

Postmortem angiography using femoral cannulation and postmortem microbiology.

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University Centre of Legal Medicine, University Hospital Center and University of Lausanne, Rue du Bugnon 21, 1011, Lausanne, Switzerland,


Despite the undeniable advantages of postmortem angiography, numerous questions have arisen concerning the influence that the injected contrast media may exercise on biological fluids and tissues collected for toxicological and biochemical investigations. Moreover, cardiac blood for microbiological investigations cannot be obtained post-angiography. In this study, we examined whether the peripheral blood collected prior to postmortem angiography, using percutaneous access to femoral vessels after skin surface disinfection, could be suitable for microbiological investigations when postmortem angiography with femoral vessel cannulation is also performed. A total of 66 cases were included in the study and were divided into two subgroups (angiography and bacteriology group, 33 cases and control group, 33 cases). Autopsies, histology, toxicology, bacteriology, and biochemical investigations (procalcitonin, C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and soluble triggering receptors expressed on myeloid cells type 1) were performed in all cases. No statistically significant differences between the two groups were noted, and identified category distribution (death unrelated to infection, true infection, false positive, and undetermined) was rather similar in both studied populations. These preliminary results suggest that postmortem angiography using a femoral approach does not constitute an impediment to the collection of peripheral blood for microbiology and vice versa. Moreover, the use of femoral blood for microbiology does not lead to an increased risk of doubtful results.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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