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A Landscape Study of Computed Tomography Scanners for Postmortem Applications

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2023
26 pages

This publication of the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence provides information on purchasing and implementing a CT scanner.


This report, published by the Forensic Technology Center of Excellence, aims to help Medical Examiner and Coroner (MEC) leadership make informed decisions on purchasing and implementing a CT scanner and presents case studies as representative examples of previous successful implementation projects. This landscape study of computed tomography scanners for postmortem applications provides medical examiners, coroners, and other members of the medicolegal death investigation community with an overview of computed tomography (CT) scanner technology and how scanners may be used in postmortem applications; a discussion on the potential value and limitations of postmortem CT scanning; product details of a representative sample of CT scanners that may be used in postmortem CT applications; and considerations for implementing a CT scanner, with use cases of successful implementation. Advanced imaging technologies help medicolegal death investigation (MDI) personnel assess cause of death (COD) and manner of death (MOD). The Medical Examiner and Coroner (MEC) community utilize postmortem computed tomography (PMCT) to obtain imaging data to assist in reaching informed conclusions in suspicious, unexpected, or unexplained deaths. Offices that have successfully implemented CT within their workflow have noted the importance of community guidelines that support regular CT scanner use. Because these guidelines are still in their infancy, the perspectives of forensic community peers are crucial in informing PMCT adoption.