First Advisor

Virginia Butler

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Anthropology and University Honors






Tomography, Autopsy, Forensic pathology, Forensic anthropology




The use of computed tomography (CT) scanning in medicolegal death investigations has increased in frequency in recent years. It can be used by investigators to help identify a victim, find a cause of death, or otherwise reveal legally relevant case details. This meta-analysis aimed to examine the research surrounding the use of CT scanning in medicolegal death investigation, focusing in particular on researchers’ scrutiny of the accuracy and precision of this technique within forensic contexts. Thirty-nine research papers were reviewed, with specific attributes and findings examined together in an effort to contextualize CT scanning in medicolegal death investigations. CT scanning has generally been found to closely match the accuracy of autopsy, and researchers tend to suggest that it is a viable supplement to autopsy in most cases. Much of the research also suggests that when autopsy is not a viable option, CT scanning might be a suitable replacement. Future research should focus on standardizing postmortem CT scan training and increasing the resolution of CT scans.


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Persistent Identifier

Appendix1_Eames_CT_Research_Papers.pdf (102 kB)
Sources used in meta-analysis

Appendix2_Eames_CT_Research_Table.xlsx (109 kB)
Excel spreadsheet used for meta-analysis