Document Detail

Sudden death due to giant cell coronary arteritis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16642350     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
An 89-year-old woman was found dead lying in her bed. Autopsy demonstrated a pronounced thickening of all coronary arteries except for the first 2-4 cm. Death was due to a recent myocardial infarction. Microscopically, the coronary arteries showed a substantial concentric thickening of all three layers with 90% narrowing. There was a dense transmural inflammatory infiltration with lymphocytes, macrophages, and numerous multinucleated giant cells. The CD68 positive giant cells were mostly located at the media-intima border in the vicinity of fragmented fibers of the lamina elastica interna. The aorta and its major branches including the carotid arteries, however, were free of inflammation and thickening. The findings were characteristic for giant cell arteritis, the equivalent of temporal Horton arteritis, but isolated involvement of the coronary arteries is exceptional.
B Karger; G Fechner
Publication Detail:
Type:  Case Reports; Journal Article     Date:  2006-04-27
Journal Detail:
Title:  International journal of legal medicine     Volume:  120     ISSN:  0937-9827     ISO Abbreviation:  Int. J. Legal Med.     Publication Date:  2006 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-10-24     Completed Date:  2007-06-04     Revised Date:  2007-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9101456     Medline TA:  Int J Legal Med     Country:  Germany    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  377-9     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Legal Medicine, University of Münster, Röntgenstrasse 23, 48149 Münster, Germany.
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MeSH Terms
Aged, 80 and over
Aorta / pathology
Coronary Vessels / pathology
Death, Sudden / etiology*
Forensic Pathology
Giant Cell Arteritis / diagnosis*
Giant Cells / pathology
Lymphocytes / pathology
Macrophages / pathology

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