Half a century ago, autopsies were routinely performed on about 50% of all patients who died in hospitals. Not only a powerful tool for quality improvement in patient care, the autopsy generates accurate vital statistics, provides a better understanding of diseases, helps in the detection of new infections, and drives progress in medicine.
Virtual autopsies performed with high-resolution imaging may complement traditional autopsies. Postmortem computed tomography scanning (left) shows a large occlusive mass (blue arrowhead) in the left mainstem bronchus extending into the subcarinal region, causing complete collapse of the left lung (yellow arrowhead). A gross pathology image (right) shows the same occlusive mass (blue arrowhead) in the left mainstem bronchus.
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