Electrical injury may lead to damage to the conducting tissue, myocardial changes and even sudden cardiac death. Victims of low-voltage electrocution may have no electric marks, burns or other signs typical of electrical injuries. In these cases, the absence of other specific findings could make the identification of the cause of death very difficult. A broad spectrum of cardiac changes in cases of electrocution has been described in the literature, including the break-up of myocardial fibres, cardiomyolysis, haemorrhagic areas, the separation of myofibres and alternating hypercontracted–hyperdistended myocytes. All the described alterations, however, cannot be exclusively attributed to electrocution, since no specific morphological cardiac findings have so far been identified in electrocution. However, a few histological patterns recur, and their knowledge may be important for the forensic pathologist. This literature review describes the main pathological patterns observed in cases of fatal electrocution based on a literature search carried out up to September 2019 in the databases PubMed and Scopus. The search criteria included the keywords for cardiac lesions and electrocution. On the grounds of the literature data, a list of major and minor diagnostic markers for the passage of the electrical current through the heart tissue was created.

Morphological cardiac changes in electrocution deaths: A literature review

Favia M.;Mele F.;Introna F.;De Donno A.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Electrical injury may lead to damage to the conducting tissue, myocardial changes and even sudden cardiac death. Victims of low-voltage electrocution may have no electric marks, burns or other signs typical of electrical injuries. In these cases, the absence of other specific findings could make the identification of the cause of death very difficult. A broad spectrum of cardiac changes in cases of electrocution has been described in the literature, including the break-up of myocardial fibres, cardiomyolysis, haemorrhagic areas, the separation of myofibres and alternating hypercontracted–hyperdistended myocytes. All the described alterations, however, cannot be exclusively attributed to electrocution, since no specific morphological cardiac findings have so far been identified in electrocution. However, a few histological patterns recur, and their knowledge may be important for the forensic pathologist. This literature review describes the main pathological patterns observed in cases of fatal electrocution based on a literature search carried out up to September 2019 in the databases PubMed and Scopus. The search criteria included the keywords for cardiac lesions and electrocution. On the grounds of the literature data, a list of major and minor diagnostic markers for the passage of the electrical current through the heart tissue was created.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/363014
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? 1
  • Scopus 1
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 1
social impact