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J Forensic Sci. 2002 Sep;47(5):1062-4.

Sudden death due to an unrecognized cardiac hydatid cyst.

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Department of Cytopathology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Greece.


Echinococcosis is an endemic disease, most common in sheep-raising communities, usually caused by the larval or cyst stage of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus. Isolated cardiac hydatid cyst is uncommon at any age, occurs through the coronary circulation, and accounts for less than 3% of all hydatid disease. We describe a case of an 1%-year-old female, who died suddenly. The post-mortem examination revealed an isolated cyst in the left ventricle of the heart with intact wall. The cytologic examination of the cyst fluid demonstrated the presence of the characteristic scolices and hooklets and established the diagnosis of cardiac hydatid cyst. The present case is of special interest because of the rare primary localization and the onset of sudden death in a young person as the initial manifestation of the disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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