Heart valve tissue donation does not preclude the diagnosis of clinically significant pediatric cardiac abnormalities

J. Keith Pinckard, Michael A. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

Medical examiners/coroners often have the responsibility of deciding whether to allow organ and tissue donation to proceed in cases under their jurisdiction. A 10-year retrospective study was conducted of autopsy cases in children younger than 6 years to determine whether the donation of cardiac valve tissue would preclude the diagnosis of clinically significant pediatric cardiac abnormalities. Only I case (0.1%) was found in the entire 10-year period in which valve tissue donation might have prevented the correct diagnosis. According to the results of the study, (1) most cardiac findings in forensic pediatric autopsies are not clinically significant; (2) clinically significant findings will be diagnosed in properly examined hearts, even those processed for valve tissue donation, and special studies will remain possible in nearly all hearts except those with suspicion of conduction defects; and (3) as long as there is good communication between forensic pathologists and organ and tissue procurement organizations, the concern of failing to diagnose significant cardiac findings should not inhibit medical examiners/coroners from allowing the donation of pediatric cardiac valve tissue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)248-253
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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