University of Oulu

Junno, JA., Kotiaho, A. & Oura, P. Post-mortem computed tomography in forensic shooting distance estimation: a porcine cadaver study. BMC Res Notes 15, 103 (2022).

Post-mortem computed tomography in forensic shooting distance estimation : a porcine cadaver study

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Author: Junno, Juho-Antti1,2,3; Kotiaho, Antti4; Oura, Petteri5,6,7
Organizations: 1Cancer and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Department of Archaeology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Archaeology, Faculty of Arts, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland
4Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5Department of Forensic Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, P.O. Box 21, 00014, Helsinki, Finland
6Forensic Medicine Unit, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland
7Center for Life Course Health Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-05-04


Objectives: Gunshot wounds are frequently studied using computed tomography (CT) to examine tissue damage. In this study, we aimed to test the potential of post-mortem CT (PMCT) in shooting distance estimation at distances 0–100 cm. We hypothesized that in addition to the wound channel, we could also potentially detect tissue damage caused by muzzle pressure on PMCT.

Results: A total of 59 gunshot wounds (23 contact shots, 21 close-range shots, 15 distant shots) were inflicted on eight piglet carcasses with a .22 Long Rifle handgun. PMCT scans were obtained using clinical equipment, and they were evaluated for wound characteristics by visual inspection and numeric measurements. In our data, contact shots could be clearly distinguished from close-range and distant shots by a hyperdense ring-shaped area surrounding the outermost part of the wound channel. Close-range and distant shot wounds did not have this feature and were difficult to distinguish from each other. The mean wound channel diameter ranged from 3.4 to 5.4 mm, being smallest in contact shots and largest in distant shots. These preliminary findings suggest that PMCT may aid the estimation of shooting distance. As this study only addressed low velocity gunshot wounds in carcasses, further studies are warranted.

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Series: BMC research notes
ISSN: 1756-0500
ISSN-E: 1756-0500
ISSN-L: 1756-0500
Volume: 15
Article number: 103
DOI: 10.1186/s13104-022-05997-2
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 319 Forensic science and other medical sciences
Funding: Open access funded by Helsinki University Library.
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