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Sudden Death Due to Eagle Syndrome: A Case Report

Kumar, Pradeep MV, MBBS, MD*; Rayamane, Anand P. MBBS, MD; Subbaramaiah, Mouna MBBS, MS(Anatomy)

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 231–233
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182a186e1
Case Reports

Eagle syndrome represents symptoms manifested by compression of regional structures by elongation of the styloid process or ossification of the stylohyoid membrane. Various theories have been put forward toward the development of Eagle syndrome. Depending on the underlying pathogenetic mechanism and the anatomical structures compressed or irritated by the elongated styloid process, symptoms vary greatly, ranging from cervicofacial pain to cerebral ischemia. Because the symptoms are variable and nonspecific, patients land up in different clinics for treatment. In the present case, the victim had previous episode of unconsciousness along with frequent headache for which she visited various clinics on numerous occasions. The elongated styloid process was appreciated during the postmortem examination, and the diagnosis of sudden death due to mechanical irritation of the carotid sinus by elongated styloid process was made as the sign of acute cardiovascular failure was present and upon exclusion of other causes of death.

From the *Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, RajaRajeswari Medical College & Hospital; †Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, BGS Global Institute of Medical Sciences; and ‡Department of Anatomy, Kempegowda Institute of Medical Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India. The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Manuscript received July 12, 2012; accepted October 18, 2012.

Reprints: Pradeep Kumar, MV, MBBS, MD, Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, RajaRajeswari Medical College & Hospital, Kambipura, Mysore Rd, Bangalore 560074, Karnataka, India. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.