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Non-atherosclerotic coronary pathology causing sudden death
  1. Fabio De Giorgio1,
  2. Antonio Abbate2,
  3. Giuseppe Vetrugno3,
  4. Arnaldo Capelli4,
  5. Vincenzo Arena4
  1. 1Institute of Legal Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, USA
  3. 3Medical Directorate, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy
  4. 4Institute of Pathological Anatomy, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, School of Medicine, Rome, Italy
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr F De Giorgio
    Institute of Legal Medicine, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, School of Medicine, Largo Francesco Vito 1, 00168 Rome, Italy; fdegiorgio{at}tiscalinet.it

Abstract

Coronary atherosclerosis is responsible for >50% of all cases of sudden death and for 90% of sudden coronary death. Four cases encountered in routine autopsy evaluation at our institute in 2004 in which non-atherosclerotic coronary pathology was responsible for sudden cardiac death are reported. The cases of a 31-year-old man with epicardial coronary arteritis, a 57-year-old man with intramyocardial vasculitis, a 45-year-old woman with spontaneous coronary dissection and a 50-year-old man with vascular fibrosis are described. Searching for non-atherosclerotic coronary disease is relevant for both the clinician and the pathologist to prevent coronary causes of sudden death going unrecognised.

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Footnotes

  • Competing interests: None declared.

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