Validation of the Minimally Invasive Autopsy (MIA) tool for cause of death investigation in developing countries
The global health community has not yet adequately resolved how to estimate with precision the most important causes of death at a global level.
Complete Diagnostic Autopsies (CDA), the current gold standard methodology to inform on cause of death, may be challenging in rural areas of the developing world, not only on account of the technical expertise required, but also because in some situations there may be problems with cultural and/or religious acceptance, negatively influencing consent.
In recent years, Minimally Invasive Autopsy (MIA) techniques have been developed to validate newer approaches that could substitute CDA using a more acceptable, less invasive and targeted pathological sampling methodology. MIA includes the use of imaging techniques and the performance of targeted diagnostic biopsies.
The confirmation that MIA is an acceptable, feasible, valid and reliable tool to inform on the cause of death would be a major public health achievement. It would allow a more robust surveillance of those diseases with major mortality burden, and consequently, improved health planning and targeted prioritization of resources.
The CaDMIA project aims to design and assess MIA tools for investigation of infectious causes of death, and to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of using such tools in different cultural, religious and geographical backgrounds.