Hugh Pickens writes writes "Conventional post-mortem examinations require cutting open the body so the vital organs can be inspected, a procedure that can be distressing for the family and is opposed by some communities on religious grounds. Now BBC reports that a team at the the University of Leicester has developed a non-surgical autopsy technique which could remove the need to open up the body to determine a cause of death. The process involves making a small incision in the neck, so that a catheter can be fed down towards the coronary arteries. First air, and then a white dye, are injected, and the CT scanner used again to look for detailed evidence of heart disease. ""We were the first Unit in the world to our knowledge to propose targeted angiography as the way forward, and are now the first to describe the development, methodology and protocols involved for cadaver cardiac CT angiography," says Professor Guy Rutty, Chief Forensic Pathologist to the East Midlands Forensic Pathology Unit. "Other groups have done whole body angiography which is time consuming and expensive and is unlikely to be implemented in the UK for everyday autopsies""