Endoscopic autopsy

R. Avrahami*, S. Watemberg, E. Daniels-Philips, T. Kahana, J. Hiss

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In cases in which the family of the deceased objects to the performance of a conventional autopsy for religious or other reasons, or where there are no forensic pathology facilities in the vicinity of the hospital, postmortem endoscopic examination may be an advantageous and cost-effective substitute for conventional necropsy, especially when the alternative is no postmortem examination at all. To test the reliability of postmortem endoscopy, conventional and endoscopic autopsies were performed on 20 cadavers at the L. Greenberg Institute of Forensic Medicine in Israel. Comparison of the findings of the two procedures showed a very high correlation (100%) for intraperitoneal and thoracic hemorrhages and hepatic, splenic, and diaphragmatic injuries; it showed a slightly lower correlation (60-80%) for mesenteric and retroperitoneal hematomas injuries to the great vessels, blood aspiration, and lung injury. Endoscopy failed to reveal the correct site of injury in the retroperitoneum and posterior aspect of the mediastinum. Collection of body fluids and tissue samples was possible by means of laparoscopy. The technique proved to be relatively accurate, more rapid than conventional autopsy, and left the body virtually intact.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-150
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Autopsy
  • Endoscopy
  • Laparoscopy
  • Thoracoscopy


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