Volume 36, Issue 4 (July 1991)
Incidental Cardiac Rhabdomyomas: A Significant Finding Necessitating Additional Investigation at the Time of Autopsy
Cardiac rhabdomyomas are rare lesions forming part of the tuberous sclerosis complex that may be responsible for sudden death. As well as remaining clinically occult for variable periods of time, they may, along with other manifestations of tuberous sclerosis, be quite difficult to detect clinically and pathologically. A patient is described in whom multiple cardiac rhabdomyomas were an incidental finding at autopsy following fatal potassium fluoride poisoning. Other gross pathological lesions typical of tuberous sclerosis were present but were quite subtle in appearance. Awareness of the association of cardiac rhabdomyomas with tuberous sclerosis is important so that full examination of organ systems for characteristic lesions can be undertaken during the autopsy, and so that fresh and frozen tissue can be obtained at the time of dissection for further investigation.