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Acute myocardial infarction as a cause of death in palliated hypoplastic left heart syndrome


A 20 month old child with hypoplastic left heart syndrome died suddenly from a massive myocardial infarction 15 months after a hemi-Fontan operation. This was confirmed at postmortem examination and histological examinations. The sites of surgical reconstruction were all in good condition, there were no gross anatomical coronary abnormalities, and the coronary ostia were unobstructed. On microscopy the internal coronary arteries had notable intimal and medial thickening with narrowing of the lumen, although no thrombotic occlusion was seen. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first published report of arteriosclerosis of the coronary arteries in hypoplastic left heart syndrome. It raises the question as to whether there may be a primary histological abnormality in some children with this condition or whether some mechanism of accelerated arteriosclerosis is at work.

  • congenital heart disease
  • Norwood procedure
  • coronary arteries
  • arteriosclerosis
  • necropsy
  • hypoplastic left heart syndrome

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