NIHR funds alternative autopsy method

Researchers at Leicester University are to develop an alternative to invasive autopsies, which many families find to be unpleasant.

The research team at Leicester University’s East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit has won a substantive award by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) to develop a reliable and cost-effective system that can be used to diagnose coronary heart disease from CT scans.

The technology will be used to visualise coronary arteries in cadavers and make a diagnosis comparable to current autopsy practices.

The research is a collaborative project between researchers in the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit at Leicester University and researchers in the Imaging Department at the University Hospitals of Leicester. The project officially began at the beginning of June and will run for 18 months.

Prof Guy Rutty, who is heading up the project, commented: ’The outcome of this research has the potential to affect every family in the future and is a significant contribution to the developing practice of using CT scans instead of autopsies.’

Prof Rutty said that he was confident that the system would can be used in the future as an alternative to invasive autopsies.