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01.01.2012 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2012

International Journal of Legal Medicine 1/2012

Visualisation of the temporary cavity by computed tomography using contrast material

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 1/2012
Autoren:
Christian Schyma, Lars Hagemeier, Susanne Greschus, Hans Schild, Burkhard Madea

Abstract

The temporary cavity of a missile produces radial tears in ordnance gelatine, which correlate to the energy transfer. Computed tomography is a useful and non-destructive method to examine gelatine blocks. However, the tears give only few radiocontrast by air filling, which decreases with the time past shooting. Therefore, systematically, a radiocontrast material was searched to enhance the contrast. Different contrast materials were amalgamated to acryl paint, and about 7 g was sealed in a foil bag, which was integrated in the front of a standard 10% gelatine cylinder. Shots with Action-5 expanding bullets were performed from a 5-m distance. Gelatine was scanned by multi-slice computed tomography. The multiplanar reconstructed images were compared to mechanically cut slices of 1 cm thickness. It was shown experimentally that iodine containing water-soluble contrast material did not give sufficient contrast and caused diffusion artefacts. Best results were obtained by barium sulphate emulsion. The amount of acryl paint was sufficient to colour the tears for optical scanning. The radiocontrast of barium leads to satisfying imaging of tears and allowed the creation of a three-dimensional reconstruction of the temporary cavity. Comparison of optical and radiological results showed an excellent correlation, but absolute measures in computed tomographic (CT) images remained lower compared with optically gathered values in the gelatine slices. Combination of paint and contrast material for CT examination will facilitate the evaluation of complex ballistic models and increase accuracy.

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