In Vivo MRI


Strangulation refers to violence against the neck and most often occurs in the context of domestic violence. It can lead to diverse symptoms including difficulty breathing, nausea or difficulty swallowing and can induce danger to life. However, strangulation often leaves no external traces, or traces that are solely visible for a short period of time, thereby resulting in a lack of objective evidence. As forensic pathologists usually only perform an external examination after a strangulation incident, such cases are very difficult from a juridical point of view. Nevertheless, our ongoing research could show that using MRI of the neck, traces of a strangulation attempt are still visible up to 12 days after the incident, even when no external findings are present. Therefore, imaging techniques should become an integral part of forensic routine services, and victims, physicians, police officers, as well as prosecutors should know about this possibility.