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Investigation of Post-Mortem Magnetic Resonance Imaging for the Detection of Intraneural Hemorrhage

NCJ Number
Date Published
June 2018
13 pages

This is the Summary Overview of a research project that examined the use of post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (PMMR) for the detection of intraneural hemorrhage at a resolution useful for future application to the assessment of the cervical spine in infants and small children.


The project first created anatomically correct pediatric phantoms and assessed the detection sensitivity of currently available magnetic resonance imaging coils. It then optimized PMMR spatial resolution and image contrast of several candidate PMMR image acquisition protocols, and these protocols were used to establish a basic knowledge of the MR appearance of nerve hemorrhages at various stages of hemoglobin degradation. This was followed with the testing of the optimized PMMR image acquisition protocols using a rabbit model of intraneural hemorrhages of varying antemortem ages. These efforts were designed to provide PMMR protocols optimized and tested for detecting intraneural hemorrhage for future application to deceased human subjects. Overall, the project concluded that injection of blood in rabbit cervical nerve roots is not a sufficiently reliable model for mimicking human neural injuries. The plan for the future is to apply these imaging protocols to human infant decedents with known or suspected cervical trauma and then compare the PMMR and pathology findings in cases with actual human injuries produced by real injury mechanisms. Implications of project findings for criminal justice policy and practice in the United States are discussed. 1 table and 14 references

Date Published: June 1, 2018