Article: PDF OnlySudden Death due to Unsuspected Coronary VasculitisSwalwell, Christopher I. M.D.; Reddy, Sara K. M.D.; Rao, Valarie J. M.D.Author Information From the Office of the Medical Examiner (C.I.S.), San Diego County, San Diego: and the Department of the Chief Medical Examiner—Coroner (S.K.R.), Los Angeles, California: and the Dade County Medical Examiner's Office (V.J.R.), Miami, Florida. Deputy Medical Examiner (C.I.W., S.K.R.): Associate Medical Examiner (V.J.R.): formerly of the Chief Medical Examiner—Coronor Office, Los Angeles (C.I.S.). The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 1991 - Volume 12 - Issue 4 - p 306-312 Buy Abstract Coronary artery vasculitis is a well-recognized complication of polyarteritis nodosa and is occasionally seen in other forms of systemic vasculitis. However, involvement of the major epicardial coronary arteries leading to myocardial infarction and death is uncommon. Isolated coronary arteritis is even more rare. We report three cases of sudden death due to myocardial ischemia associated with arteritis of the major coronary arteries. All three decedents were previously healthy young to middle-aged men who had died suddenly after complaints of chest pain and shortness of breath. The autopsy findings and differential differential are presented. Such cases are of particular interest to the medical examiner because of the sudden, unexpected nature of the deaths. An approach to the correct diagnosis is discussed. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.