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While pathologists often need to open large parts of the body to investigate possible causes of death of the deceased, a new technique has opened discussions about maybe changing the entire autopsy process, writes BBC.

The technique developed by a research team at the University of Leicester, is to make a small incision in the neck of the deceased, and then they scan the body.

Trauma, fractures and cancer

Through computerized tomography, which is a cross-section image of the body without doing damage, or CT scans, the research team able to scan the body for external trauma, fractures and cancer.

Examination of the heart requires however a slightly different technique, but even here there is no more than a cut in the neck that is needed. A catheter is brought through the incision down to the arteries around the heart. Air and white liquid injected through the catheter, before a CT scan allows a detailed search for heart disease.

The technique, which has been tested on 33 people, has determined causes of death by 80 % accuracy. Sarah Saunder, who leads the research team, believes this method is as good at estimating the causes of death, like the original and it will also cost less to implement, and far more effective, she argues.

But it is still a disagreed method as other pathologists around Europe think it will be rather expensive to implement this technique as well as that the old method is the most secure one.

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