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Leg Med (Tokyo). 2009 Apr;11 Suppl 1:S124-7. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2009.02.003. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Immunohistochemical and molecular-pathological diagnosis of myocarditis in cases of suspected sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)--a multicenter study.

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Institute of Forensic Medicine, University of Giessen, Frankfurter Street 58, D-35392 Giessen, Germany.


Virus-induced myocarditis is a common disease even in infants and children, but diagnosis can be difficult according to the Dallas-criteria, which have been criticised as being too unreliable. The diagnosis has been substantially improved due to immunohistochemical techniques for characterization and quantification of myocardial inflammatory reactions as well as molecular-pathological methods for viral genome detection. The published studies report on post-mortem samples from SIDS victims and controls which were prospectively investigated. Pediatric cases of unnatural deaths served as controls. The results demonstrate a clearly higher prevalence of viral myocardial infections in cases of suspected SIDS. Preliminary criteria for cellular immunohistochemical diagnosis of viral myocardial affections derived from these findings were suggested.

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