Histological Diagnosis of Myocardial Sarcoidosis in a Fatal Fall from a Height
Article first published online: 15 OCT 2010
© 2010 American Academy of Forensic Sciences
Journal of Forensic Sciences
Volume 56, Issue Supplement s1, pages S255–S258, January 2011
How to Cite
Cecchetto, G., Viel, G., Amagliani, A., Boscolo-Berto, R., Fais, P. and Montisci, M. (2011), Histological Diagnosis of Myocardial Sarcoidosis in a Fatal Fall from a Height. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 56: S255–S258. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2010.01603.x
- Issue published online: 3 JAN 2011
- Article first published online: 15 OCT 2010
- Received 30 Oct. 2009; and in revised form 2 Jan. 2010; accepted 3 Jan. 2010.
- forensic science;
- falls from a height;
- death scene investigation;
- myocardial sarcoidosis;
- reconstruction of the event
Abstract: The major issues of medico-legal relevance in fatal falls from a height are the manner of death and the reconstruction of the event. We present a peculiar case of a fatal fall from a height of about 9 m, involving a 27-year-old woman. At the death scene investigation, no suicide notes, housebreaking marks, or signs of fight were found, thus weakening both the suicide and homicide hypotheses. Combining circumstantial, autopsy and toxicology data, the kinematic analysis of the jump/fall, and the histological evidence of a myocardial sarcoidosis involving the left ventricle, we hypothesized that the young woman might have accidentally fallen from the window because of a sudden loss of consciousness related to cardiac disease undiagnosed during life. We believe that our brief report is a good example of the powerful additional information that histological investigations can offer for reconstructing the dynamics of the event in falls from a height and other traumatic fatalities.