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Sudden Death from Tubercular Myocarditis

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Tuberculous myocarditis is a rare finding. We present the case of a 33-year-old woman who was in good health and who died suddenly at home. Autopsy and histopathologic examinations revealed granulamatous lesions in the myocardium, lungs, lymph nodes, liver, and spleen. No fast acid bacilli were demonstrated on histological examination. The presence of a Mycobacterium tuberculosis DNA complex was identified using a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded histological samples. An HIV test carried out on the blood obtained during the autopsy was negative according to the DNA amplification technique (PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay serological test. We hypothesize that the mechanism of death was severe ventricular arrhythmia due to granulomatous proliferation in the structures of the interventricular septum.

Keywords: autopsy; forensic pathology; forensic science; polymerase chain reaction; sudden death; tubercular myocarditis

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy. 2: Institute of Pathological Anatomy, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Modena, Italy.

Publication date: May 1, 2006


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