This report descibes certain interesting postmortem findings in the hearts of five subjects who died suddenly, silently, and unexpectedly, and in whom the only significant abnormality at autopsy was asymmetric septal hypertrophy (ASH) of the heart. Deep clefts, cystic faults, and dilated vascular channels were not only seen within the septal myocardium in all the hearts, but also within the left ventricular free walls of two hearts. The septal myocardium and the left ventricular free walls of two hearts and the A-V node and His bundle of one heart demonstrated mural and luminal thrombi of several dilated vascular channels. In another heart, foci of cardiocytic myofibrillar degeneration were seen, especially close to narrowed small coronary vessels. Fetal dispersion and fibrosis of the A-V node and His bundle were evident in one heart. These abnormalities in the conducting system and the ventricular myocardium suggest that the hearts of subjects with ASH are not only excellent anatomic substrates for lethal arrhythmias, but also are bound to be hemodynamically impaired. We believe that conditions such as hypoxia, increased oxygen demand by the heart or abnormal sympathetic stimulus may easily trigger fatal arrhythmias in such individuals, thereby causing sudden death.
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