Morphologic variations of the external arcuate nucleus in infants dying of SIDS: a preliminary report

J Forensic Sci. 1994 Jul;39(4):1076-83.


The external arcuate nucleus (EAN), located in the ventral medulla, is studied in 24 infants dying of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and 15 age-matched controls to identify differences in morphology in this region, thought to be involved in respiratory regulation. Significant differences are noted in EAN neuronal density, percentage of back-to-back neurons and volume of the EAN relative to the adjacent pyramids. These changes may be useful in evaluating sudden infant death.

MeSH terms

  • Arcuate Nucleus of Hypothalamus / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Neurons / pathology
  • Pyramidal Tracts / pathology
  • Sudden Infant Death / pathology*