Sudden Death Secondary to an Undiagnosed B-Cell Lymphoma of the Hypopharynx and Infiltration of the Inferior Constrictor Muscle*

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Abstract

The aim of this presentation was to share an uncommon form of sudden death, suffered by a 64-year-old woman, due to a mechanical obstruction of hypopharynx by an undiagnosed B-cell lymphoma, infiltrating the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle. A forensic approach by means of scene investigation, circumstantial data collection, autopsy, and histological and toxicological investigations led to conclude that the cause of death was asphyxia, correlated with B-cell lymphoma of the hypopharynx. The autopsy examination highlighted the presence of a wall thickening, infiltrating, and projecting into the hypopharynx lumen. The histological analysis showed the essential finding of a B-cell lymphoma of the hypopharynx, diffusely infiltrating the inferior pharyngeal constrictor muscle. To conclude, this case demonstrates once more that in the absence of specific data, a thorough forensic investigation including autopsy, histological examination, and circumstantial data collection is mandatory to reach a correct cause of death.

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