Plans for Center Activities

◆Forensic Medicine・Legal Dentistry
・ Department of Forensic Medicine & Department of Legal Dentistry
We visited the Radiology-Pathology Center for Forensic Imaging (CFI) at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in 2015. The CFI is the only forensic center in the United States currently contributing to forensic radiology for investigating causes of death. Based on our visit, we are now evaluating plans for joint research in 2016. We are also making arrangements to develop forensic imaging guidelines (English version) after next year.
・ We are holding a monthly seminar inquiring into the causes of death of specific cases, collaborating with Sapporo Medical University and Hokkaido Medical Association. A total of 45 attendants (6 from Hokkaido University, 39 others) have participated until October 31st 2016.
・ In judicial autopsies, we have contributed to identify a corpse without name by using dental findings. And we have cooperated with the police and other authorities in identifications.
◆Pathology・Autopsy imaging
・We support organizing clinical-pathological conferences (CPC) for medical trainees with the Postgraduate Clinical Training Center of Hokkaido University Hospital. Through the CPC we provide a range of opportunities for medical trainees to learn about the implications of postmortem imaging (autopsy imaging) and investigations of causes of death, and encourage the participants to go on to graduate schools providing superior educational environments. At the Center for Cause of Death Investigation, we also have an educational curriculum for medical doctors and graduate students.
  1. Locally, our activities include performing autopsy imaging and autopsies for all deaths at Hokkaido University Hospital, especially for cases of unexpected death during medical treatment.
  2. These cases are discussed in detail with clinicians before and after the autopsy, in concert with the pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, and forensic medical specialists, as is often the case at university hospitals.

Cooperation with other divisions

◆Forensic Medicine・Legal Dentistry
・Department of Forensic Medicine & Department of Legal Dentistry
We have cooperated with dental practitioners in the identification of unidentified corpses by forensic dentistry methods.
・We hold weekly conferences and discussions of all autopsy cases with pathologists, diagnostic radiologists, forensic medicine experts, legal dentistry experts, and medical risk management specialists.
◆Autopsy imaging
・We have established cooperation with Hokkaido University Hospital including the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology and the Medical Safety Management Division, and all sections of the Center for Cause of Death Investigation to improve the environment for research and to perform postmortem/autopsy imaging of patients who undergo pathological anatomy examinations.


◆Forensic Medicine
  1. ・Research results were reported for study of posthumous elapsed time images utilizing postmortem CT.
    (Time-related change evaluation of the cerebrospinal fluid using postmortem CT. Leg Med 2016;22:30-35).
  2. The paper reported basic research on a novel autopsy method of the cervix employing postmortem imaging. Further, the following paper discusses the above mentioned method and its potential to become reflected in practice.
    (Experimental evaluation of freezing preparation for macroscopic inspection in putrefied brains. Leg Med 2017;24:19-23).
  3. Postmortem CT evaluations are performed for the purpose of measuring cadaver-training status and used in the training for the purpose of surgical operations. At present, we have achieved good results with improvements in technician skills.
    (Current situation of Ai in Hokkaido and the role of the Center for Cause of Death Investigation, Innervision, January, 2017) .
  4. A novel analysis method for measuring the concentration of thiosulfate has been developed, an analysis that is useful in the diagnosis of H2S poisoning in the forensic field.
    (Development for the measurement of serum thiosulfate using LC-MS/MS in forensic diagnosis of H2S poisoning. Legal Med 2016; 22: 18-22.).
・At the Center for Cause of Death Investigation, pathologists and forensic medicine experts collaboratively analyze cases of death. Recently, one case of a death occurring at home was diagnosed to be from a serious rare disease. We plan to use such important cases in medical education.
◆Autopsy imaging
・The building and expansion of an autopsy image database of cases referred by the police was initiated, through co-operation with the Department of Forensic Medicine.