Sudden death due to cerebral malaria: a case report

J Forensic Leg Med. 2013 Aug;20(6):690-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jflm.2013.03.026. Epub 2013 May 4.


Malaria is generally diagnosed ante-mortem. Few post-mortem cases have been described in the literature. Post-mortem cases may present as sudden and unexpected deaths of young individuals rising suspicious of unnatural death, and may therefore be investigated by medical examiners. We present the case of a 24-year-old man who died a few days after returning from a trip to Mali (Africa). Death was attributed to cerebral malaria after a thorough post-mortem investigation. The pathological aspects underlying the fatal outcome are discussed.

Keywords: Cerebral malaria; Forensic pathology; Plasmodium falciparum; Sudden death.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Death, Sudden / etiology*
  • Forensic Pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Malaria, Cerebral / diagnosis*
  • Malaria, Falciparum / diagnosis*
  • Male
  • Mali
  • Spleen / pathology
  • Travel
  • Young Adult