Second opinion system for sudden cardiac death cases in forensic practice.

Sabatasso, Sara; Banz, Yara; Ringger, Rebekka; Visonà, Silvia; Schyma, Christian; Bolliger, Stephan; Michaud, Katarzyna (2020). Second opinion system for sudden cardiac death cases in forensic practice. International journal of legal medicine, 134(3), pp. 1255-1263. Springer 10.1007/s00414-019-02225-8

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Sudden cardiac death (SCD) represents a considerable percentage of cardiovascular deaths worldwide. The most frequent pathological substrate of SCD is atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (CAD). The other, less common, pathologies which can cause SCD include cardiomyopathies, congenital diseases (including abnormal anatomy), and arrhythmias such as channelopathies, many of which are genetically determined. Autopsies of SCD victims are generally performed by forensic pathologists. In some cases, a third person responsibility could be invoked. While CAD diagnosis at post-mortem examination is not a major challenge for the forensic pathologist, the other rarer diseases may be. In such instances, referral of the hearts to specialized centers with recognized expertise is recommended, and this is particularly important in cases of SCDs of young people. Moreover, in order to avoid the frequent overdiagnosis of a pathological heart, an expert opinion should be sought for even in the presence of a morphologically normal heart. In cases where retention of the heart is not feasible, it is essential to provide an extensive photographic documentation, with the indication of the sampling sites for histological examination. However, some practical aspects, as the criteria for case selection in routine forensic practice are missing. In this paper, we present the recommendations for heart retention for a second expert opinion and the alternative of documentation and sampling for cases where retention is not possible.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Review Article)

Division/Institute:

04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Legal Medicine > Forensic Medicine
04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Pathology

UniBE Contributor:

Banz Wälti, Yara; Ringger, Rebekka and Schyma, Christian

Subjects:

500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0937-9827

Publisher:

Springer

Language:

English

Submitter:

Antoinette Angehrn

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2020 10:51

Last Modified:

26 Apr 2020 01:32

Publisher DOI:

10.1007/s00414-019-02225-8

PubMed ID:

31915964

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Autopsy Cardiovascular pathology Forensic pathology Heart retention Sudden cardiac death

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.138891

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138891

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