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Type: Journal article
Title: Cardiovascular conditions and the evaluation of the heart in pregnancy-associated autopsies
Author: Herbst, J.
Winskog, C.
Byard, R.
Citation: Journal of Forensic Sciences, 2010; 55(6):1528-1533
Publisher: Amer Soc Testing Materials
Issue Date: 2010
ISSN: 0022-1198
Statement of
Jonathon Herbst, Calle Winskog, and Roger W. Byard
Abstract: Pregnancy-associated death is defined as the death of a woman from any cause during pregnancy or in the year after delivery. This review concentrates on cardiac conditions that may result in pregnancy-associated death including, but not limited to, acute myocardial infarction, endocarditis, peripartum cardiomyopathy, and prolonged QT syndrome. Lethal vascular conditions may also occur involving arterial dissection and thromboembolism, on occasion exacerbated by hypercoagulability, and altered hormonal and physiologic states. The autopsy evaluation of these patients includes a careful assessment of the medical history particularly for prior pregnancy-related conditions, fetal loss, and episodes of unexplained collapse. A family history of sudden death at an early age may be significant. At autopsy, evaluation for underlying syndromes such as Marfan, or evidence of intravenous narcotism should be undertaken. Autopsy examination involves careful dissection of the heart and vessels with consideration of conduction tract studies and possible genetic evaluation for prolonged QT syndrome.
Keywords: forensic science; forensic pathology; pregnancy; autopsy; cardiac; sudden death; cardiomyopathy; dissection; myocardial infarct; thromboembolism; postpartum
Rights: © 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
RMID: 0020101393
DOI: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01489.x
Appears in Collections:Pathology publications

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