Use of Cardiac Injury Markers in the Postmortem Diagnosis of Sudden Cardiac Death

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In the daily practice of forensic pathology, sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a diagnostic challenge. Our aim was to determine the usefulness of blood biomarkers [creatine kinase CK-MB, myoglobin, troponins I and T (cTn-I and T), and lactate dehydrogenase] measured by immunoassay technique, in the postmortem diagnosis of SCD. Two groups were compared, 20 corpses with SCD and 8 controls. Statistical significance was determined by variance analysis procedures, with a post hoc Tukey multiple range test for comparison of means (p < 0.05). SCD cases showed significantly higher levels (p < 0.05) of cTn-T and cTn-I compared to the control group. Although only cases within the first 8 h of postmortem interval were included, and the control group consisted mainly of violent death cases, our results suggest that blood troponin levels may be useful to support a diagnosis of SCD.

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