A retrospective analysis of cardiovascular deaths: A 5‐year autopsy study of 1045 cases in Antalya, Turkey

Cemyigit Deveci; Sema Demircin

Abstract

This study aims to identify the macroscopic and microscopic changes that occur in the heart in different causes of cardiovascular death and sudden cardiac death in autopsy cases and evaluate the difficulties that a forensic practitioner may encounter during autopsies. All forensic autopsy cases in the Morgue Department of the Council of Forensic Medicine, Antalya Group Administration between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2019, were examined, retrospectively. The cases were chosen according to inclusion and exclusion criteria, and their autopsy reports were examined in detail. It was determined that 1045 cases met the study criteria, 735 of which were also met the sudden cardiac death criteria. The top three common causes of death were ischemic heart disease (n = 719, 68.8%), left ventricular hypertrophy (n = 105, 10%), and aortic dissection (n = 58, 5.5%). The frequency of myocardial interstitial fibrosis was significantly higher in deaths due to left ventricular hypertrophy than in deaths due to ischemic heart disease and other causes (χ2(2) = 33.365, p < 0.001). Despite detailed autopsy and histopathological examinations, some heart diseases that cause sudden death may still not be detected.