Acute mesenteric ischaemia and unexpected death.

Discipline of Anatomy and Pathology, School of Health Sciences, The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, SA 5005, Australia.
Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine (Impact Factor: 0.99). 05/2012; 19(4):185-90. DOI: 10.1016/j.jflm.2011.12.023
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Acute mesenteric ischaemia is a vascular emergency that arises when blood flow to the intestine is compromised leading to tissue necrosis. It is primarily a condition of the elderly associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Causes include arterial thromboembolism, venous thrombosis and splanchnic vasoconstriction (so-called nonocclusive mesenteric ischaemia). Reperfusion injury and breakdown of the intestinal mucosal barrier lead to metabolic derangements, sepsis and death from multiorgan failure. The diagnosis may be difficult to make clinically and numbers of cases are increasing due to ageing of the population. The clinical and pathological features are reviewed with discussion of predisposing conditions. Careful dissection of the mesenteric vasculature is required at autopsy with appropriate histologic sampling and documentation of associated comorbidities. Other organs need to be checked for thrombi and the possibility of testing for inherited thombophilias should be considered. Toxicological evaluation, particularly in younger individuals, may reveal evidence of cocaine use. On occasion no obstructive lesions will be demonstrated, however the confounding effects of post-mortem autolytic and putrefactive changes may mean that nonocclusive mesenteric ischaemia may be difficult to diagnose.

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    ABSTRACT: To use more representative sample size to evaluate whether computed tomography (CT) scan evidence of the concomitant presence of pneumatosis and portomesenteric venous gas is a predictor of transmural bowel necrosis. Data from 208 patients who were referred for a diagnosis of bowel ischemia were retrospectively reviewed. Only patients who underwent a surgical intervention following a diagnosis of bowel ischemia who also had a post-operative histological confirmation of such a diagnosis were included. Patients were split into two groups according to the presence of histological evidence of transmural bowel ischemia (case group) or partial bowel ischemia (control group). CT images were reviewed for findings of ischemia, including mural thickening, pneumatosis, bowel distension, portomesenteric venous gas and arterial or venous thrombi. A total of 248 subjects who underwent surgery for bowel ischemia were identified. Among the 208 subjects enrolled in our study, transmural bowel necrosis was identified in 121 subjects (case group), and partial bowel necrosis was identified in 87 subjects (control group). Based on CT findings, including mural thickening, bowel distension, pneumatosis, pneumatosis plus portomesenteric venous gas and presence of thrombi or emboli, there were no significant differences between the case and control groups. The concomitant presence of pneumatosis and porto-mesenteric venous gas showed an odds ratio of 1.95 (95%CI: 0.491-7.775, P = 0.342) for the presence of transmural necrosis. The presence of pneumatosis plus porto-mesenteric venous gas exhibited good specificity (83%) but low sensitivity (17%) in the identification of transmural bowel infarction. Accordingly, the positive and negative predictive values were 60% and 17%, respectively. Although pneumatosis plus porto-mesenteric venous gas is associated with bowel ischemia, we have demonstrated that their co-occurrence cannot be used as diagnostic signs of transmural necrosis.
    World Journal of Gastroenterology 10/2013; 19(39):6579-84. · 2.43 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Acute mesenteric venous thrombosis (AMVT) is one of those diseases that cannot be diagnosed by specific symptoms and signs. A high misdiagnosis rate makes AMVT a final diagnosis established by exploratory laparotomy or forensic examinations earlier, during the period when computed tomography was not as efficient as it is now. The main motivation of our research was to improve the diagnosis and treatment by finding the relationship among activated protein C (APC) resistance, antiphospholipid antibodies, and AMVT in the Chinese Han population. Methods APC resistance was tested by activated partial thromboplastin time method in 70 AMVT patients and 75 healthy adult volunteers that excluded hypercoagulable states. Factor V Leiden mutation was analyzed by polymerase chain reaction with restriction fragment length polymorphism. Anticardiolipin antibodies (aCLs) were tested by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A sensitive activated partial thromboplastin time-lupus anticoagulant (LA) test was used according to the guidelines. Results Only two samples had factor V Leiden mutation and were excluded. Twenty-one (30.9%) of the 68 AMVT patients had APC resistance. The rate of aCLs positive in AMVT group (13.2%) was significantly increased compared with control group (1.33%; P = .014). The LA-positive rate is significantly different between the AMVT and control group. Among LA-positive patients, the number of APC resistance was much higher than LA-negative patients (P = .000), but aCLs do not have an increased predisposition to APC resistance (P = .85). Conclusions APC resistance associated with LAs is a high risk in AMVT. The way aCL may affect the process of AMVT is not the same as with LA.
    Journal of Vascular Surgery: Venous and Lymphatic Disorders. 04/2014;
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    Forensic Science Medicine and Pathology 04/2013; · 1.96 Impact Factor


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May 22, 2014