: Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare congenital conditions with a prevalence of less than 1% and are mostly asymptomatic. However, these malformations can suddenly cause intense pain or bleeding, leading to life-threatening medical problems. This report presents a case of an unexpected death in a 37-year-old previously healthy woman due to an intra-cerebellum arteriovenous malformation rupture identified during autopsy. While infective processes where preliminarily excluded, a Post Mortem Computed Tomography (PMCT) identified a tetra ventricular hemorrhage and intra-cerebellum hemorrhage. Toxicological examination was negative for most substances of abuse. During autopsy an intense hemorrhagic infiltrate in the subarachnoid space was observed. After formalin fixation of the brain the cerebellum showed hemorrhagic infarction on fourth ventricle sides, as well as several small reddish infarctions across the entire cerebellum parenchyma. Histological examination of the brain and cerebellum showed a suffusion of erythrocytes in the sub-arachnoid region. Evidence of an arterio-venous malformation, with several intertwine vessels of variable diameter, surrounded by hemorrhagic evidence. The autopsy played a crucial role in identifying the location and the possibly affected vessel, as well as defining the cause of death. It is necessary to have a greater number of autopsies to make an epidemiological contribution. Furthermore, it is crucial to create a multicenter data network with other authors from other departments to improve information about epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic data. Most brain AVMs as cause of death are often undiscovered.

Multidisciplinary Approach to Suspected Sudden Death Caused by Arteriovenous Malformation Rupture: A Case Report

Esposito, Massimiliano
;
2021-01-01

Abstract

: Arteriovenous malformations (AVMs) are rare congenital conditions with a prevalence of less than 1% and are mostly asymptomatic. However, these malformations can suddenly cause intense pain or bleeding, leading to life-threatening medical problems. This report presents a case of an unexpected death in a 37-year-old previously healthy woman due to an intra-cerebellum arteriovenous malformation rupture identified during autopsy. While infective processes where preliminarily excluded, a Post Mortem Computed Tomography (PMCT) identified a tetra ventricular hemorrhage and intra-cerebellum hemorrhage. Toxicological examination was negative for most substances of abuse. During autopsy an intense hemorrhagic infiltrate in the subarachnoid space was observed. After formalin fixation of the brain the cerebellum showed hemorrhagic infarction on fourth ventricle sides, as well as several small reddish infarctions across the entire cerebellum parenchyma. Histological examination of the brain and cerebellum showed a suffusion of erythrocytes in the sub-arachnoid region. Evidence of an arterio-venous malformation, with several intertwine vessels of variable diameter, surrounded by hemorrhagic evidence. The autopsy played a crucial role in identifying the location and the possibly affected vessel, as well as defining the cause of death. It is necessary to have a greater number of autopsies to make an epidemiological contribution. Furthermore, it is crucial to create a multicenter data network with other authors from other departments to improve information about epidemiological, clinical, diagnostic and therapeutic data. Most brain AVMs as cause of death are often undiscovered.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11387/168106
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