Elementary my dear Watson! Biomedical imaging techniques for forensic analyses of trauma, defects, and disease in marine mammals.

TitleElementary my dear Watson! Biomedical imaging techniques for forensic analyses of trauma, defects, and disease in marine mammals.
Publication TypeConference Poster
AuthorsCramer SR, Arruda J, Ketten DR, Montie E, Prahl S, Williams RS, Dunnigan B, Romano T, Campbell-Malone R, Young N
Conference Name17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine Mammals
Conference LocationCape Town, South Afirca
Year of Publication2007
Date Published2007

Over the last 10 years, there has been a rapid increase in the use of biomedical imaging procedures on both live and postmortem specimens of marine mammals. With the advent of larger bore machines, more rapid data acquisition technology, and increased weight tolerances, computerized tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are becoming both more common and more important as diagnostic and research tools. Scanners are now capable of acquiring data in high resolution at the rate of 10 mm/sec, providing a table time of less than 1 minute for full head exams and as little as 5 minutes for a full body scan of a 1.5 meter animal. In addition, ultra-high resolution images effectively produce micro-imaging at 100 micron sectioning through post-scan processing with most modern clinical units. Because of the rapidity of modern imaging techniques, it is feasible to perform in vivo scans of most marine mammal species and in post-mortem cases to acquire scans from at least major body regions from larger species; including entire heads of juvenile mysticetes. This paper will present an overview of CT and MRI scan protocols that have been developed over the last decade for imaging marine mammals as well as modifications of those protocols to maximize detection and diagnosis of the following categories of pathologies in both cetaceans and pinnipeds: blunt trauma, explosive trauma, fractures, gunshot wounds, pneumothorax, emboli, hemorrhage, brain lesions, osteolytic lesions, parasites, congenital defects, and deafness. Explicit case histories will be employed to demonstrate each condition with comparisons of normal tissues.

Keywordsblunt trauma, brain lesions, congenital defects, deafness, emboli, explosive trauma, fractures, gunshot wounds, hemorrhage, osteolytic lesions, parasites, pneumothorax
Citation Key753
Author Address

Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Biology Department
266 Woods Hole Road / MS50
Woods Hole, Massachusetts 02543