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Sudden Death Due to Black Esophagus: A Case Report

Venara, Aurélien MD*†‡; Pavageau, Aude Helene MD§; Maillart, Clotilde Rouge MD, PhD*†∥; Jousset, Nathalie MD*†

American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182717b98
Case Reports

Abstract: Black esophagus, also known as acute esophageal necrosis syndrome, is a rare but often fatal pathology. It can be identified during autopsy examination and should be diagnosed by the forensic examiner via simple macroscopic examination. We report the case of an elderly man who was found dead, presenting with this pathology. A microscopic examination was carried out that confirmed the diagnosis. We consider that all forensic examiners should be made aware of this pathology to make the diagnosis quickly, in turn allowing the deceased to be returned promptly to their loved ones.

Author Information

From the *LUNAM University; Departments of †Forensic Science, ‡Visceral Surgery, and §Pathology, Angers University Hospital; and ∥INSERM, U922 Faculty of Medicine, Angers, France.

Manuscript received January 25, 2012; accepted July 30, 2012.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Nathalie Jousset, MD, Department of Forensic Medicine, Angers University Hospital, 4 rue Larrey, 49933 Angers Cedex 9, France. E-mail:

© 2013 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.