BACKGROUND: The clinical parameters of autopsied brains in two periods (1938-1951 and 1990-2002) were analyzed and compared. METHODS: Gender distribution, age, clinical diagnosis, treatment length of 695 (1938-1951) and 1378 (1990-2002) autopsies of Department of Neurology, Debrecen, Hungary were investigated. RESULT: Between 1938-1951 mean 49.6 +/- 15.5 autopsies/year were performed while in the 1990-2002 the autopsies raised to 106 +/- 19.6 /year. In the first period almost all deceased patient has been autopsied, but the ratio decreased on 68.9% between 1990-2002. The average age of autopsied patients (39.1 +/- 2.9 years) almost doubled after 40 years (69.5 +/- 2.0 years). In the first period (1938-1951) the infectious and tumorous cases were most frequent (33.6% and 31.2%), while in the second one, the cerebrovascular diseases dominated (84.5%). There was no significant difference between the treatment lengths of two periods (18.1 and 14.5 days, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: While the absolute number of autopsies raised after 40 years, the ratio decreased at our department (from 100% to 68.9%), similarly to the worldwide trends. The significantly higher age of autopsied patients and the different spectrum of clinical diagnosis reflects the decrease of infectious diseases and increase of stroke frequency and the ageing of the Hungarian population. Authors sustain with literary data that autopsy should not be ignored, and are convinced, together with professor Mohr, that "autopsy is the ultimate audit of medicine, the yardstick of clinical care and research. To dispence with autopsy is an unfortunate trend that certainly endangers the value of clinical research."
|Translated title of the contribution||Comparison of clinical data of two autopsy series, 1938-1951 and 1990-2002, at the Debrecen University Department of Neurology|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 15 2004|
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