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Int J Legal Med. 2010 Mar;124(2):113-7. doi: 10.1007/s00414-009-0384-1. Epub 2009 Nov 11.

Amniotic fluid aspiration in cases of SIDS.

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  • 1Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Roentgenstrasse 23, Muenster, Germany.


The scope of this study was to evaluate the incidence and the eventual consequences of amniotic fluid aspiration (AFA) in cases of sudden infant death. Cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS; n = 113: 39 females, 74 males; mean age 4.6 months) were compared to a control group of 39 cases of explained death (14 females, 25 males; mean age 5.6 months). In each case, sections of the lung stained with hematoxylin and eosin and with the immunohistochemical reaction 34BE12 specific for cytokeratins were available. The microscope slides were observed at x200 magnification and semi-quantitatively classified into four categories(-, +, ++, and +++). In both groups, rests of amniotic fluid could be observed up to the fourth month of life. The comparison between the two groups did not show any significant difference. In the SIDS group, immunohistochemical reactions with the antibodies CD68, MRP8, MRP14, 27E10, 25F9, CD3, CD20Cy, and CD45R0 were available for the lungs. Twelve cases with AFA were compared to a group of SIDS cases without AFA with similar age and pathological distribution to evaluate whether the presence of amniotic remnants induced inflammatory changes in the lungs. No differences emerged. This study shows that AFA is not a rare event. Even moderate to severe AFA does not necessary cause death. A correlation between AFA and SIDS could not be shown.

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