Incidence of Coronary Thrombosis in Sudden Death due to Coronary Artery Disease

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Acute coronary thrombosis does not play a major role in the causation of sudden unexpected death due to coronary artery disease. In a study of 500 consecutive autopsies of individuals aged 20–99 years, dying suddenly and unexpectedly of coronary artery disease, only 67 (13.4%) showed an acute thrombosis. In contrast, studies of hospitalized patients with acute transmural infarction of the myocardium showed a rate of coronary artery occlusion > 80%.

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