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Sudden Death and Isolated Right Ventricular Noncompaction Cardiomyopathy: Report of 2 Autopsied Adult Cases

Ilyas, Sadaf MD*; Ganote, Charles MD*; Lajoie, Dawn MD; Robertson, Julie MD; Cline-Parhamovich, Karen DO

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: September 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 225–227
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e3182a0a46c
Case Reports

A predominantly right ventricular variant of isolated noncompaction cardiomyopathy is a potentially lethal disease entity, which only recently has become recognized in the clinical and cardiac imaging literature. There are currently few established morphologic criteria for the diagnosis other than right ventricular dilation and presence of excessive regional trabeculation. To date, there have been no autopsy reports of cases following either clinical diagnosis or sudden death. We report 2 adult cases of sudden unexpected death in which unexplained right ventricular dilation and prominent apical hypertrabeculation were the principal findings. The gross and microscopic results suggest pathological similarities between, or coexistence of, right ventricular noncompaction and arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathies.

From the *Department of Pathology, Quillen College of Medicine, and †Division of Forensic Pathology, Department of Pathology, Quillen College of Medicine, WLJ Forensic Center, East Tennessee State University; and ‡Department of Pathology, Johnson City Medical Center, Johnson City, TN.

Manuscript received January 2, 2012; accepted October 23, 2012.

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

Reprints: Karen Cline-Parhamovich, DO, East Tennessee State University, Quillen College of Medicine, WLJ Forensic Center, Box 70425, Johnson City, TN 37614. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.