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Fatal Road Traffic Vehicle Collisions With Pedestrian Victims

Forensic Postmortem Computed Tomography and Autopsy Correlation

Chatzaraki, Vasiliki MD; Thali, Michael J. MD, eMBA; Ampanozi, Garyfalia MD, MSc; Schweitzer, Wolf MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: June 2018 - Volume 39 - Issue 2 - p 130–140
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000382
Original Articles

Fatal car-to-pedestrian collisions regularly appear in the forensic pathologist's routine, particularly in places of extended urbanization. Postmortem computed tomography has gained an exceptional role to supplement autopsy worldwide, giving information that is supplementary or complimentary to conventional autopsy. In this retrospective study, a total number of 320 findings in a series of 21 pedestrians fatally hit by cars and trucks of both postmortem computed tomography and autopsy were correlated. According to our results, it is best to combine both methods to give well-founded answers to questions pertaining to both collision reconstruction and cause of death.

From the Department of Forensic Medicine and Imaging, Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.

Manuscript received October 4, 2017; accepted December 10, 2017.

Compliance with Ethical Standards: No funding was received. All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed involving humans were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Cantonal Ethics Committee of Zurich, Switzerland, and Nr. 2015-0686.

Reprints: Vasiliki Chatzaraki, MD, Institute of Forensic Medicine Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland. E-mail:,

© 2018 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.