Definitive Diagnosis 

The only way to definitively confirm a diagnosis of CJD is to examine brain tissue, usually after death by post mortem examination. 

CJD is a notifiable disease in Ireland and

all suspected CJD cases must be notified to the coroner at the time of death.


All CJD autopsies are performed in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin on the behalf of the requesting coroner.  Every effort is made to minimise the delay to funeral arrangements.


Following the CJD autopsy it is necessary to retain the brain for ~2months to perform all the necessary investigations. To ensure the family are aware of the brain retention it is essential that Autopsy Form C is completed by the family in advance. (email to:

Referral of a death to the coroner is independent of the family’s wishes and family permission is not required and therefore is not sought. However, Autopsy Form C allows the family to choose between 1) being contacted by our social worker once all investigations have been completed or 2) refuse further contact and allow the INCJDSU to dispose of the brain respectfully by cremation (cremation form must also be completed). Note: No ashes remain following the cremation of a brain.

ACJD Autopsy can not be performed until Autopsy Form C has been completed.

Once the patient passes away the coroner will organise everything with the mortician in Beaumont Hospital on contact number (01) 8528180 (or 8093000 out of hours). Coroner’s requests must be sent in writing to The patient must be wearing an identification tag. 


It is important that a Covid 19 test, taken within 24 hours of autopsy, accompanies the body (can be taken after death).


To help explain the process to families please refer to the CJD Autopsy Information Booklet.


© Copyright Irish National CJD Surveillance Unit