Table of ContentsDefinition / general
Cite this page: Tops TL. Internal examination. PathologyOutlines.com website. https://www.pathologyoutlines.com/topic/forensicsautopsyinternal.html. Accessed December 9th, 2022.
Definition / general
- Organs need to be weighed
- All lesions need to be measured in three dimensions, if possible
- Evidence of Injury does not need to be repeated in each organ system; a statement such as "see 'evidence of injury' above" will suffice
- Natural causes of death are usually found in this section of the autopsy report: body cavities, head / CNS / neck, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, hepatobiliary system, gastrointestinal system, genitourinary system, lymphorecticular system, endocrine system, and musculoskeletal system
- State any abnormal pericardial, thoracic or abdominal fluid acumination
Head / CNS / neck
- Look for lesions involving the scalp, calvarium, dura mater, falx cerebri, leptomeninges, cerebral hemispheres, gyri / sulci, cut sections of brain, brain stem, cranial nerves, major blood vessels, CSF, cerebellum, atlanto-occipital joint, thyroid cartilage, hyoid bone, larynx, tongue, etc.
- Epicardial surface, coronary arteries (distribution, patency versus occlusion, and wall thickness), myocardium (LV / RV / septum) thickness, valves, endocardium, aorta, renal vessels, mesenteric vessels, etc.
- Upper airway, mucosa, pleural surfaces, pulmonary parenchyma, vasculature, etc.
- Hepatic capsule, liver parenchyma / vasculature, gall bladder serosa / mucosa, etc.
- Esophagus, gastric mucosa, small bowel, colon, appendix, pancreas, etc.
- Renal capsule(s), cortical surface(s), cortical / medullary parenchyma, bladder, male organs (testes, prostate), female organs (ovaries, uterus), etc.
- Splenic capsule, splenic parenchyma, regional lymph nodes, etc.
- Pituitary gland, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, etc.
- Muscle and bone structures
- Useful for documenting natural disease or gross lesions histologically (e.g. gunpowder residue)
- Describe what is seen microscopically, do not state diagnosis in this section
- This section may include neuropathology or cardiovascular consultation reports, toxicology reports, autopsy attendance roster, etc.