The main benefit of multi-detector CT over other modalities is its ability to image bodies in 3D, as opposed to all other radiological modalities imaging in 2D. This enables a complete and true representation of the body to be obtained which is vitally important from a forensic point of view.
Other modalities claim to be able to produce a 3D representation through image manipulation but this results from manipulation of the raw data. This would mean this image is not true representation of the body and as such would not be admissible in a court of law. The 3D capabilities and subsequent ease of image interpretation by jurors/lay people makes MDCT a much more accurate and more easily understandable view of the body.
It is also important to consider that there may be the potential for MDCT to replace the need for some autopsies. Autopsy is a major concern for some religious groups and if we can provide an alternative for those groups it can only be of benefit to all involved. Whilst some claim MDCT can replace all autopsy work, it is also thought that MDCT will only provide an alternative to autopsy in traumatic deaths. More research is needed in this area.
Unlike other methods of 'image manipulation' which may alter the primary data, CT image manipulation means simply changing the way in which the scan is viewed. The data can be viewed in a variety of ways - including looking at skin, bone or soft tissues - and in any plane that the viewer wishes to see. The data manipulation depends on the software available, but all have the same basic functions.
Image manipulation in this way allows the scans to be viewed as a true representation of the body that was imaged, which is unique to cross sectional imaging. From a forensic perspective, this is essential.
The images produced in this way are a valuable means of presenting the data as evidence in court, making it easier for jurors to understand the evidence being presented to them without exposure to unsightly post-mortem photographs. It also enables those reporting the scans to review them quickly and easily.