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Indian Journal of Forensic and Community Medicine


Incidental lung pathologies in medicolegal autopsies: a study


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Author Details: Pulak Chakma, Meera Devi Thounaojam, Ph. Madhubala Devi

Volume : 4

Issue : 3

Online ISSN : 2394-6776

Print ISSN : 2394-6768

Article First Page : 189

Article End Page : 194


Abstract

Introduction: Autopsy may reveal some natural diseases, the presence of which may trigger questions like association of the disease with trauma, work, crime etc., and its relative contribution towards death. The present study was taken up to study the presence of lung pathologies in medicolegal autopsies so as to find out the role of the co-morbidities of the lung in the cause of death.
Materials and Method: Across-sectional study was carried out in the mortuary of the Forensic Medicine department in collaboration with the Pathology department of a tertiary care teaching institute in northeast India from October 2014 to September 2016. A detailed history and hospital records, if available, were recorded and the autopsy findings of the cases were noted. After gross examination of the lungs, samples of the cut sections were collected and examined for any pathology. The findings were recorded and statistically analysed.
Results: The commonest lung pathology observed was pulmonary oedema (62.91%) followed by intraalveolar and interstitial haemorrhage (20.89%), pneumonia (10.56%), fibrosis (7.98%), etc. No cases of pulmonary tuberculosis were found as the primary cause of death in the present study except as co-morbidities in 1.87% of the cases. Pulmonary pathology like pneumonia and focal pneumonitis were present as contributing factors in the cause of death in 5.43% and 0.5% of the cases.
Conclusion: In medicolegal autopsies, most of the cases are with unknown history of past illness. Gross and histopathological study of the lungs in the medicolegal autopsies may reveal natural diseases and their role as a contributory factor in such deaths.

Keywords:
Autopsy, Lung pathologies, Co-morbidity, Cause of death