Evaluation of a simplified method of the conduction system analysis in 110 forensic cases

Forensic Sci Int. 2002 Nov 5;130(1):13-24. doi: 10.1016/s0379-0738(02)00269-4.


A simplified method of the His bundle analysis is evaluated by the study of 110 forensic cases. The atrioventricular node or its part were observed in 96 cases (87.3%), penetrating bundle in 92 cases (83.6%), branching and left bundles branch in 109 cases (99.1%) and right bundle branch in 73 cases (66.4%). The changes such as fibrosis and fatty infiltration show statistically significant differences (P<0.01) between progressive age groups confirming their degenerative and age-related nature. The study included as well nine cases of sudden unexpected death and two cases of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), for which the autopsy with histological examination and toxicological analysis resulted negative. For nine of these cases, pathological lesions were found which can even explain the fatal issue. Moreover, in the cases with known cause of death, potentially lethal changes were noticed. This simple, low cost technique could be proposed to forensic pathologists as easy to fit into the routine processing of autopsy material, allowing the detection of major abnormalities with minimal effort. The authors also consider the difficulties related to the interpretation of the pathological findings in the conduction system.

MeSH terms

  • Adipose Tissue / pathology
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Death, Sudden / etiology
  • Death, Sudden / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibrosis / pathology
  • Forensic Medicine / methods*
  • Heart Conduction System / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sudden Infant Death / etiology
  • Sudden Infant Death / pathology