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OBJECTIVE: To ascertain the causes of sudden death (SD) by autopsy examination. METHODS: All cases of sudden death were subjected to a postmortem examination. In addition previous postmortem reports of sudden death over a two years were also included. Postmortem findings were correlated to clinical state and the cause of death was ascertained. The information was analyzed to find out the cause of sudden death in our patients. RESULTS: Out of a total of 130 autopsies there were 13 cases of SD. All were males (age 23 to 50 years). Death was within one your of onset of symptoms in five (38.5%) cases and within 24 hours in eight (61.5%) cases. Death was due to coronary artery disease (CAD) in 10 (76.93%) cases, aortoarteritis, cardiomyopathy and cerebrovascular accident (CVA) in (7.69%) case each. Amongst CAD patients triple vessel disease (TVD) was seen in eight cases (which included one case of cardiomyopathy), two vessel disease (DVD) in two and single vessel disease (SVD) in one. No specific preponderance of right or left coronary artery was seen. One patient of 21 year who died following exertion showed anomalous origin of coronary arteries. His right and left coronary artery originated from aortic arch 1.5 cm above the aortic valve. Right coronary artery was ill developed and had atheromatous plaque. The case of cardiomyopathy also had TVD. In the case of aortoarteritis all vessels were affected (carotids, renal and coronary). In one case of CVA bleeding was from an arterio-venous malformation in right temporal lobe. Nine out of 11 cases of CAD had atheromatous plaque without coronary thrombosis. CONCLUSIONS: Coronary artery disease (Triple vessel disease) contributed to maximum number of cases of SD. Aortoarteritis, cardiomyopathy and cerebrovascular accident (CVA) was the cause of death in one case each. Postmortem identified the cause of death in all cases.


Journal article


J Assoc Physicians India

Publication Date





551 - 553


Adult, Autopsy, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Humans, Male, Middle Aged