Journal of Forensic Sciences Volume: 52 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2007 Pages: 180-182
This Turkish study describes and discusses the autopsy results for 12 sudden-death cases in which acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis was the cause of death.
The authors note that many cases of acute pancreatitis have classical symptoms and findings, but few cases cause sudden, unexpected death without symptoms. They advise that forensic pathologists who deal with sudden, unexpected death should consider examining the pancreatic region, with attention to pancreatitis-related complications such as pulmonary damage. All cases had hemorrhage, edema, and fatty necrosis in the pancreatic region, along with edema, alveolar hemorrhage, and pleural effusion in the lung. There was no indication of major hepatic, cardiac, or renal macroscopic or histologic changes in the decedents. Both cholelithiasis and alcohol were the main etiologic factors in acute pancreatitis; however, only four of the cases had a history of chronic alcohol ingestion. There were no other etiologic factors. This study reviewed 3,305 autopsies performed between 1991 and 2001 at Turkey's Council of Forensic Medicine. Of these, 12 cases (0.36 percent) involved sudden death due to acute hemorrhagic pancreatitis without symptoms. 1 table and 17 references
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