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Cardiovasc Pathol. 2013 Jan-Feb;22(1):109-11. doi: 10.1016/j.carpath.2012.05.002. Epub 2012 Jun 19.

Sudden death of an infant with coronary involvement due to Takayasu arteritis.

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Department of Legal Medicine, Kanazawa Medical University, 1-1 Daigaku, Uchinada-machi, Kahoku-gun, Ishikawa 920-0293, Japan.


We present an unusual case of sudden death of an 8-month-old female infant with coronary involvement due to Takayasu arteritis. She had been thought to be healthy, but died after presenting to a hospital with complains of vomiting. At autopsy, the aorta and its main branches were thickened and stenotic, with the abdominal aorta below the level of the orifice of renal arteries most severely affected. The ascending aorta was thickened and showed ostial stenosis in the coronary arteries bilaterally. The proximal segment of the left and right coronary arteries showed approximately 60% and over 90% occlusion, respectively. Microscopically, the intima was thickened due to an increase of intimal cells and fibers, and the adventitia showed thickening with fibrosis. In addition, remarkable infiltration of inflammatory cells, including multinuclear giant cells phagocytosing fragmented elastic fibers, and destruction of elastic fibers were observed in the media. We diagnosed the cause of death as coronary insufficiency induced by coronary involvement due to Takayasu arteritis. Takayasu arteritis was not considered as a cause of sudden infant death, although this disease can affect the coronary artery. This report suggests that Takayasu arteritis can be a life-threatening condition even in infants.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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