Post-mortem computed tomography in forensic shooting distance estimation: a porcine cadaver study.

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Date: Mar. 16, 2022
From: BMC Research Notes(Vol. 15, Issue 1)
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Document Type: Report
Length: 2,948 words
Lexile Measure: 1390L

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Abstract :

Objectives Gunshot wounds are frequently studied using computed tomography (CT) to examine tissue damage. In this study, we aimed to test the potential of post-mortem CT (PMCT) in shooting distance estimation at distances 0-100 cm. We hypothesized that in addition to the wound channel, we could also potentially detect tissue damage caused by muzzle pressure on PMCT. Results A total of 59 gunshot wounds (23 contact shots, 21 close-range shots, 15 distant shots) were inflicted on eight piglet carcasses with a .22 Long Rifle handgun. PMCT scans were obtained using clinical equipment, and they were evaluated for wound characteristics by visual inspection and numeric measurements. In our data, contact shots could be clearly distinguished from close-range and distant shots by a hyperdense ring-shaped area surrounding the outermost part of the wound channel. Close-range and distant shot wounds did not have this feature and were difficult to distinguish from each other. The mean wound channel diameter ranged from 3.4 to 5.4 mm, being smallest in contact shots and largest in distant shots. These preliminary findings suggest that PMCT may aid the estimation of shooting distance. As this study only addressed low velocity gunshot wounds in carcasses, further studies are warranted. Keywords: Forensic medicine, Post-mortem imaging, Computed tomography, Gunshot wound

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A699542385