Hippocampal Formation Maldevelopment and Sudden Unexpected Death across the Pediatric Age Spectrum

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and sudden unexplained death in childhood (SUDC) are defined as sudden death in a child remaining unexplained despite autopsy and death scene investigation. They are distinguished from each other by age criteria, i.e. with SIDS under 1 year and SUDC over 1 year. Our separate studies of SIDS and SUDC provide evidence of shared hippocampal abnormalities, specifically focal dentate bilamination, a lesion classically associated with temporal lobe epilepsy, across the 2 groups. In this study, we characterized the clinicopathologic features in a retrospective case series of 32 children with sudden death and hippocampal formation (HF) maldevelopment. The greatest frequency of deaths was between 3 weeks and 3 years (81%, 26/32). Dentate anomalies were found across the pediatric age spectrum, supporting a common vulnerability that defies the 1-year age cutoff between SIDS and SUDC. Twelve cases (38%) had seizures, including 7 only with febrile seizures. Subicular anomalies were found in cases over 1 year of age and were associated with increased risk of febrile seizures. Sudden death associated with HF maldevelopment reflects a complex interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic factors that lead to death at different pediatric ages, and may be analogous to sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.

    loading  Loading Related Articles