This study describes the novel use of diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (diceCT) as a digital necropsy aid. DiceCT was used postmortem to evaluate the cause of progressive respiratory disease in a juvenile maleo (Macrocephalon maleo). The technique facilitated soft-tissue contrast and a three-dimensional investigation of sinus and choanal anatomy as a means to identify normal and pathologic morphologies. Results showed right-sided narial occlusion by mucoid debris, along with left-sided choanal stenosis caused by osteomyelitis and reactive bone formation. The high spatial resolution afforded by diceCT enabled targeted histology and quantification of the clinical impact of pathologies, which contributed to an effective 60% loss in nasal airway aperture for this individual. This study demonstrates how adding diceCT to traditional necropsy can proffer additional understanding of an individual's pathology, and the resulting data can enhance research programs in vertebrate anatomy, evolution, and health.
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