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Examination of the Cardiac Conduction System: Forensic Application in Cases of Sudden Cardiac Death

Gulino, Sam P. MD

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2003 - Volume 24 - Issue 3 - p 227-238
doi: 10.1097/01.paf.0000083453.43318.74

Forensic pathologists may occasionally encounter cases of apparent sudden cardiac death without gross cardiac abnormality. In some of these cases, evaluation of the cardiac conduction system may reveal pathologic lesions which may act as the substrates for ventricular tachyarrhythmias and sudden death. Sample case studies are used to illustrate the suggested criteria and techniques for examination, and commonly-encountered pathologic lesions and normal variants are discussed.

From the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department, the University of South Florida School of Medicine, Tampa, Florida

Manuscript received November 1, 2002; accepted April 4, 2003.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Sam P. Gulino, M.D., Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department, 401 S. Morgan Street, Tampa, FL 33602. E-mail:

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.