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Pediatr Pathol. 1993 Sep-Oct;13(5):671-84.

Sudden death in infants under one year of age.

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Department of Pathology, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Clinical and postmortem findings on 126 consecutive cases of sudden infant deaths occurring in Metropolitan Toronto over a 42-month period were reviewed and classified. Of these cases, 101 were diagnosed as sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), the other 25 as due to other causes. The SIDS cases were classified into three groups: A-1 (39%), infants born at term who died between 2 weeks and 6 months of age and in whom clinical and autopsy findings were negative; A-2 (4%), same as A-1, except that the infants were born prematurely (< 36 weeks of gestation); and B (57%), infants with miscellaneous minor clinical and pathological findings not directly related to or responsible for death. The most common findings in group B were clinical and/or pathological signs of minor respiratory infection. These findings were prevalent in older SIDS infants (> 10 weeks at death), with up to 80% concordance between clinical and pathological indices of respiratory infection. Group B also included cases with minor congenital abnormalities, drug use by mother, and other miscellaneous findings. This report defines the clinicopathological features of SIDS infants and describes the spectrum of findings associated with the syndrome. It is suggested that by applying uniform criteria for definition and classification of SIDS a more reliable data base can be obtained, facilitating research into the causes and pathogenesis of SIDS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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