In the past twenty years autopsies are performed much less frequently in the elderly than in younger patients. The clinical diagnostic error rate documented by autopsy studies ranges from 6% to 68%. We analyzed the clinical and autopsy records of 214 patients who died from 1 January 1986 to 31 December 1989 at our Institute to determine the accuracy of clinical cause of death with respect to the pathologic cause of death. The most common cause of death were bronchopneumonia (25.2%) followed by gastroenteric and lung cancer (20%), cerebrovascular accident (15.8%), myocardial infarction (8%) and pulmonary embolism (7.4%). Pulmonary embolism was correctly classified only in 25% of patients. The most accurately diagnosed condition were neoplastic diseases (88%) and cerebrovascular accident (84.8%) while bronchopneumonia were correctly diagnosed antemortem in 72.2% of the patients studied. Our data suggest that advances in diagnostic technology have not reduced the value of the autopsy and that a goal-directed autopsy remains a vital component in the assurance of good medical care.
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|Titolo:||[An autopsy study of patients who died at the Medical Clinic of the University of Siena from 1986 to 1989]|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|
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