Sudden, Unexpected Death Due to Pseudo-Meigs Syndrome: A Case Report and Review of the Literature

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Meigs syndrome is the triad of ascites, hydrothorax, and benign ovarian tumor (mostly fibroids). It is a diagnosis of exclusion, and the characteristic symptoms disappear after resection of the tumor. Instead, in Pseudo-Meigs syndrome, the triad includes a nonfibroma ovarian tumor. The latter may consist of benign tumors (ie, of fallopian tube or uterus, struma ovarii, and ovarian leiomyomas) but can also comprise ovarian or metastatic gastrointestinal malignancies.The authors describe a case of sudden death in a 43-year-old woman, with no noteworthy reported history of present illness or medical history and in apparently good health before death.The autopsy showed a picture of bilateral hydrothorax with lung collapse, ascites, and a large left-sided ovarian mass, approximately 15 cm in diameter. Histopathological examinations revealed an ovarian epithelial malignancy (cystadenocarcinoma). There was also lung atelectasis with accompanying thrombosis of small and medium blood vessels. The combination of autopsy and histological findings allowed us to establish the diagnosis of Pseudo-Meigs syndrome, undiagnosed antemortem, resulting in death due to pulmonary and thrombotic complications. Our subsequent review of the literature found no case reports of undiagnosed Pseudo-Meigs syndrome presenting as sudden death, highlighting the uniqueness of the case presented herein.

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