Post-mortem findings of cardiac lesions in epileptics: a preliminary report

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Falconer B and Rajs J(1976) Post-mortem findings of cardiac lesions in epileptics: A preliminary report. Forensic Sci 8:1 63–71

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Abstract: In search of satisfactory cause of death in epileptics an attempt was made to examine the hearts with special regard to microscopic findings. All nine examined cases showed fibrosis of the minor arterial walls as well as interstitial fibrosis connected with atrophy or myofibrillar degeneration. Five cases had subendocardial fibrosis, and 4 leukocytic infiltration resembling focal myocarditis. In one case, a fibroma (hamartoma?) of the atrioventricular bundle could presumably explain the symptoms of epilepsy. The authors conclude that epilepsy may be a possible cause of ischemic or hypoxic cardiomyopathy which can contribute to the cause of sudden death amongst epileptics.



  • Autopsy examination of hearts of 9 patients with epilepsy. All cases showed fibrosis of minor arteries and interstitial fibrosis. 5 had subendocardial fibrosis and 4 had leukocytic infiltration suggestive of myocarditis.


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