An unexpected death due to massive ascites and a giant mucinous ovarian cystadenoma

Leg Med (Tokyo). 2016 Nov:23:1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.legalmed.2016.08.008. Epub 2016 Aug 26.


A female in her thirties fell face down in her room. She was motionless when her sister found her. She was transported to the hospital by ambulance and was in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest on admission. She did not respond to resuscitation. Her abdomen had started to swell 3years before her death. An autopsy was performed to clarify the decedent's cause of death. She was 172cm tall and weighed 146kg. Her maximum abdominal girth was 172.1cm. A subcutaneous hemorrhage measuring 4.5cm in diameter was observed in the epigastric region. The abdominal cavity contained brownish ascites (54.1L). The left ovary was markedly swollen, and the combined weight of the uterus and right ovary was more than 13.0kg. A left ovarian tumor consisting of serous and mucinous cysts was detected. There were no metastatic lesions in the peritoneum or other organs. She might have suffered circulatory disturbance caused by the ascites and ovarian tumor. Moreover, being in a prone position would have resulted in an increase in intra-abdominal pressure, further exacerbating her circulatory problems. Therefore, her cause of death was considered to be circulatory failure caused by significant ascites and a large ovarian tumor.

Keywords: Circulatory failure; Giant ovarian tumor; Massive ascites; Mucinous ovarian cystadenoma; Peritonitis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ascites / pathology*
  • Cystadenoma, Mucinous / pathology*
  • Death, Sudden*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Peritonitis