Objective: To report our 4-year experience in postmortem needle biopsy of liver, heart, kidney and lung tissues when formal autopsy could not be performed. Subjects and Methods: In the period from January 2000 to December 2003, postmortem biopsies were done at Al-Amiri Hospital, Kuwait, in 19 cases where the original diagnosis or cause of death was not clear. The procedure was performed by a dedicated trained medical team using a biopsy needle or limited incisions guided by the knowledge of the clinical presentation and results of laboratory and radiological investigations. Results: The actual diagnosis was established in 8 cases by postmortem histological findings and corrected in another 9 cases. In the remaining 2 cases with systemic sepsis, autopsy only confirmed the antemortem clinical diagnosis. Conclusion: Our study shows that needle biopsy is an adequate technique for postmortem examination and should be considered as the minimum alternative to conventional autopsy.

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