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Non-atherosclerotic coronary pathology causing sudden death


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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