The postmortem diagnosis of acute myocardial infarction represents a current challenge for forensic pathologists, particularly when death occurs within minutes to a few hours after the ischemic insult. Among the adult population the single most important cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD) is the well-known atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, commonly asymptomatic or unrecognized. The recognition of early myocardial damage using routine hematoxylin and eosin (H&E) staining is possible only if death has occurred at least 6 hours after the onset of the ischemic injury. The usefulness of immunohistochemical markers to the diagnosis of early myocardial damage has been recently suggested because most of them can be visible even serologically as early as few minutes after the beginning of the symptoms. To evaluate the usefulness of plasma and cellular antigens, their distribution patterns have been studied among a group of 18 SCD cases in which a myocardial ischemia was strongly suspected. For the present study, 4 markers have been selected on the basis of their different diagnostic potential as follows: among the plasma markers the C5b-9 and fibronectin, among the cellular markers the myoglobin and cardiac troponin. The results show that only the study of multiple markers such as those selected can provide enough evidence of myocardial ischemia and/or necrosis, supporting the final diagnosis of SCD. No single immunohistochemical staining is ideal for diagnosing early myocardial ischemia but a set of markers can improve the ability of forensic pathologists to detect ischemic areas when no macroscopic or microscopic evidence of necrosis is available. However, the interpretation of data obtained in each individual cannot be isolated from the overall assessment of the factors (cardiopulmonary resuscitation and/or agonal artifacts) that can affect the expression of each marker.
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1097/PAF.0b013e318177eab7|
|Codice identificativo ISI:||WOS:000256262400012|
|Codice identificativo Scopus:||2-s2.0-45149093699|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|