The importance of histological evaluation in death investigation two cases of fatal proximal airway masses

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A recent prospective study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology concluded that routine histopathologic examination lacked value. We disagreed with this assertion as we have found routine microscopic examination to be fruitful by documenting gross findings and by revealing interesting and unexpected findings. We designed a retrospective study to determine the benefit and cost of routine histopathologic examination at our institution. Forensic autopsy cases from January 2004 through June 2007 with lethal gross findings were reviewed to determine the number of cases in which microscopic examination provided the definitive cause of death. Cost was based on the average number of hematoxylin-eosinYstained slides per autopsy. One case was found in which the microscopic findings determined the correct cause of death despite compelling history and the initial impression from the autopsy findings. The cost of routine histopathologic examination during this period was approximately $39,000. We conclude that routine histopathologic examination has value. Despite having a low yield, the information it provides is nonetheless important, and its cost is not prohibitive. Furthermore, there are benefits gained from routine microscopic examination as exemplified in the 2 case reports presented in this article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-268
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Volume32
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Autopsy
Costs and Cost Analysis
Cause of Death
Forensic Pathology
Forensic Medicine
Hematoxylin
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Retrospective Studies
History
Prospective Studies

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

@article{57b8d6810b5f40eb866afe9c6667faf9,
title = "The importance of histological evaluation in death investigation two cases of fatal proximal airway masses",
abstract = "A recent prospective study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology concluded that routine histopathologic examination lacked value. We disagreed with this assertion as we have found routine microscopic examination to be fruitful by documenting gross findings and by revealing interesting and unexpected findings. We designed a retrospective study to determine the benefit and cost of routine histopathologic examination at our institution. Forensic autopsy cases from January 2004 through June 2007 with lethal gross findings were reviewed to determine the number of cases in which microscopic examination provided the definitive cause of death. Cost was based on the average number of hematoxylin-eosinYstained slides per autopsy. One case was found in which the microscopic findings determined the correct cause of death despite compelling history and the initial impression from the autopsy findings. The cost of routine histopathologic examination during this period was approximately $39,000. We conclude that routine histopathologic examination has value. Despite having a low yield, the information it provides is nonetheless important, and its cost is not prohibitive. Furthermore, there are benefits gained from routine microscopic examination as exemplified in the 2 case reports presented in this article.",
author = "Christopher Lochmuller",
year = "2011",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182186f22",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "32",
pages = "266--268",
journal = "American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology",
issn = "0195-7910",
publisher = "Lippincott Williams and Wilkins",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The importance of histological evaluation in death investigation two cases of fatal proximal airway masses

AU - Lochmuller, Christopher

PY - 2011/9/1

Y1 - 2011/9/1

N2 - A recent prospective study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology concluded that routine histopathologic examination lacked value. We disagreed with this assertion as we have found routine microscopic examination to be fruitful by documenting gross findings and by revealing interesting and unexpected findings. We designed a retrospective study to determine the benefit and cost of routine histopathologic examination at our institution. Forensic autopsy cases from January 2004 through June 2007 with lethal gross findings were reviewed to determine the number of cases in which microscopic examination provided the definitive cause of death. Cost was based on the average number of hematoxylin-eosinYstained slides per autopsy. One case was found in which the microscopic findings determined the correct cause of death despite compelling history and the initial impression from the autopsy findings. The cost of routine histopathologic examination during this period was approximately $39,000. We conclude that routine histopathologic examination has value. Despite having a low yield, the information it provides is nonetheless important, and its cost is not prohibitive. Furthermore, there are benefits gained from routine microscopic examination as exemplified in the 2 case reports presented in this article.

AB - A recent prospective study published in the American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology concluded that routine histopathologic examination lacked value. We disagreed with this assertion as we have found routine microscopic examination to be fruitful by documenting gross findings and by revealing interesting and unexpected findings. We designed a retrospective study to determine the benefit and cost of routine histopathologic examination at our institution. Forensic autopsy cases from January 2004 through June 2007 with lethal gross findings were reviewed to determine the number of cases in which microscopic examination provided the definitive cause of death. Cost was based on the average number of hematoxylin-eosinYstained slides per autopsy. One case was found in which the microscopic findings determined the correct cause of death despite compelling history and the initial impression from the autopsy findings. The cost of routine histopathologic examination during this period was approximately $39,000. We conclude that routine histopathologic examination has value. Despite having a low yield, the information it provides is nonetheless important, and its cost is not prohibitive. Furthermore, there are benefits gained from routine microscopic examination as exemplified in the 2 case reports presented in this article.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=80053578726&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=80053578726&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182186f22

DO - 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182186f22

M3 - Article

C2 - 21546822

AN - SCOPUS:80053578726

VL - 32

SP - 266

EP - 268

JO - American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

JF - American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology

SN - 0195-7910

IS - 3

ER -