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Post mortem imaging

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SBU Assessment

Presents a comprehensive, systematic assessment of available scientific evidence for effects on health, social welfare or disability. Full assessments include economic, social and ethical impact analyses. Assessment teams include professional practitioners and academics. Before publication the report is reviewed by external experts, and scientific conclusions approved by the SBU Board of Directors.


  • Based on currently available evidence, it is not possible to determine the reliability of post mortem imaging as a complement or alternative to autopsy. Individual studies suggest that post mortem imaging could be useful for determining organ weights, for example, but further studies are required for confirmation.
  • Further studies are required to determine the benefits of post mortem imaging in clinical and forensic autopsies. These studies should meet the following requirements: greater conformity of study design, improved study quality and larger, preferably multicenter studies.
  • The greatest need for research in this field pertains to conditions in which there is a risk that autopsy could fail to detect important findings, and where it is considered difficult to extrapolate knowledge and experience from studies on living individuals.

How to cite this report: SBU. Post mortem imaging. Stockholm: Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment (SBU); 2015. SBU report no 2015-01 (in Swedish).

Published: Report no: 2015-01

Project group


  • Anders Eriksson, Professor of Forensic Medicine, Umeå University
  • Anders Persson, Professor of Radiology, Center for Medical Image Science and Visualization, Linköping University
  • Torfinn Gustafsson, medical student, Umeå University
  • Legal expert: Manólis Nymark, Deputy General Counsel, Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine
  • Ethics expert: Lars Sandman, Professor of Ethics, University of Borås


  • Monica Hultcrantz (Project Director)
  • Malin Höistad (Project Director)
  • Stella Jacobson (Assistant Project Director)
  • Ingegerd Mejàre (Assistant Project Director)
  • Thomas Davidson (Health Economist)
  • Anders Norlund (Health Economist)
  • Anna Attergren Granath (Project Administrator)
  • Hanna Olofsson (Information Specialist)

More on the subject

Scientific article

Eriksson A, Gustafsson T, Hoistad M, Hultcrantz M, Jacobson S, Mejare I, et al. Diagnostic accuracy of postmortem imaging vs autopsy-A systematic review. Eur J Radiol 2017;89:249-69.
Read abstract

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