Sonja Monika Pivec1, 2, Eva Scheurer1, 2, Florian Fischer1, 2, Gerlinde Komatz3, Zoe Voigt4, Magdalena Webhofer5, Kathrin Yen6, Thomas Ehammer1
1Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Clinical-Forensic Imaging, Graz, Austria; 2Medical University Graz, Graz, Austria; 3MRI Institute Private Clinic of the Holy Sisters, Graz, Austria; 4Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Science, Charit, Berlin, Germany; 5Schn Clinic Harthausen, Clinic for Orthopedic Surgery, Germany; 6Institute for Forensic and Traffic Medicine, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
Victims of manual strangulation often present without any external injury. However, reliable diagnosis of strangulation and objective documentation of lesions are crucial for the criminal proceeding. While the feasibility of MRI of the neck in strangulation victims had already been shown, this study aimed at the evaluation of the diagnostic performance of a native MRI scan using a defined diagnostic scheme. The most frequent findings associated with strangulation were subcutaneous lesions and intramuscular bleedings. Using the diagnostic scheme strangulation was diagnosed with a high sensitivity and specificity. MRI might become an essential tool in the forensic assessment of survived strangulation.