Sudden unexpected death from an undiagnosed histiocytic sarcoma in an adolescent female

Harry R Haynes, Zsombor B Melegh, Sumiti Vanjani, Matt Cieka, Sophie Beavers, Nick Rooney, Basil Purdue

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


A previously well 15-year-old female who was awaiting medical investigations for a proptosed right eye collapsed and died suddenly while walking. Postmortem examination revealed diffuse distortion and infiltration of multiple organs by a suspected neoplastic process. Histology confirmed the invasion of multiple organs by atypical cells and myocardial infiltration was the likely cause of death. An extensive panel of immunohistochemistry established the diagnosis of a histiocytic sarcoma. Sudden unexpected death due to a clinically undiagnosed neoplasia in childhood and adolescence is uncommon. This is the first report of a histiocytic sarcoma causing sudden unexpected death and highlights the importance of considering undiagnosed hematological malignancies when examining a case of sudden death at postmortem.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)486-490
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science, Medicine, and Pathology
Issue number4
Early online date27 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Postmortem
  • Sudden death
  • Histiocytic sarcoma


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