Post-Mortem Cardiac 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Visualization of Sudden Cardiac Death?

Jackowski, Christian; Schwendener, Nicole; Grabherr, Silke; Persson, Anders (2013). Post-Mortem Cardiac 3T Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Visualization of Sudden Cardiac Death? Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 62(7), pp. 617-629. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jacc.2013.01.089

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OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate post-mortem magnetic resonance imaging (pmMRI) for the assessment of myocardial infarction and hypointensities on post-mortem T2-weighted images as a possible method for visualizing the myocardial origin of arrhythmic sudden cardiac death. BACKGROUND: Sudden cardiac death has challenged clinical and forensic pathologists for decades because verification on post-mortem autopsy is not possible. pmMRI as an autopsy-supporting examination technique has been shown to visualize different stages of myocardial infarction. METHODS: In 136 human forensic corpses, a post-mortem cardiac MR examination was carried out prior to forensic autopsy. Short-axis and horizontal long-axis Images were acquired in situ on a 3-T system. RESULTS: In 76 cases, myocardial findings could be documented and correlated to the autopsy findings. Within these 76 study cases, a total of 124 myocardial lesions were detected on pmMRI (chronic: 25; subacute: 16; acute: 30; and peracute: 53). Chronic, subacute, and acute infarction cases correlated excellently to the myocardial findings on autopsy. Peracute infarctions (age range: minutes to approximately 1 h) were not visible on macroscopic autopsy or histological examination. Peracute infarction areas detected on pmMRI could be verified in targeted histological investigations in 62.3% of cases and could be related to a matching coronary finding in 84.9%. A total of 15.1% of peracute lesions on pmMRI lacked a matching coronary finding but presented with severe myocardial hypertrophy or cocaine intoxication facilitating a cardiac death without verifiable coronary stenosis. CONCLUSIONS: 3-T pmMRI visualizes chronic, subacute, and acute myocardial infarction in situ. In peracute infarction as a possible cause of sudden cardiac death, it demonstrates affected myocardial areas not visible on autopsy. pmMRI should be considered as a feasible post-mortem investigation technique for the deceased patient if no consent for a clinical autopsy is obtained.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

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

UniBE Contributor:

Jackowski, Christian and Schwendener, Nicole

Subjects:

600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

0735-1097

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Katrin Renfer

Date Deposited:

24 Apr 2014 14:48

Last Modified:

24 Apr 2014 14:48

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jacc.2013.01.089

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/44506

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