Article Text


Value of the necropsy in perioperative deaths.
  1. J H Shanks,
  2. G McCluggage,
  3. N H Anderson,
  4. P G Toner
  1. Queen's University Department of Pathology, Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, Northern Ireland.


    A series of 213 perioperative deaths was studied out of a total of 1451 consecutive necropsies carried out over three years. Discrepancies between the clinical and the necropsy diagnosis were assessed under four classes of discrepant diagnosis: class I, patient survival affected, treatable; class II, patient survival affected but not treatable; class III, correlated to cause of death but treatable; and class IV, incidental diagnosis which could not have been made before death. Major discrepancies of classes I and II were found in 44 (21%) and 62 (29%) cases, respectively. Minor discrepancies of classes III and IV were found in 63 (30%) and 101 (47%) cases, respectively. No discrepancies were found in 50 (23.5%) cases. These results confirm the continuing value of the necropsy in the assessment of perioperative deaths.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.