Sudden death of an infant with 'an early epileptic encephalopathy'

Li Quan, Bao Li Zhu, Kaori Ishida, Mari Taniguchi, Dong Ri Li, Yasunobu Kamikodai, Masaki Q. Fujita, Hitoshi Maeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports an autopsy case of sudden death of an infant with an infrequent encephalopathy involving epileptic episodes. The infant was a 1-year and 10-month-old boy, who had a history of the first convulsive seizures in the third month after birth. The clinical diagnosis was described as 'an early infantile epileptic encephalopathy with suppression-bursts' (Ohtahara syndrome). On a winter day, he was collapsed following a high fever and was already dead on the arrival at a hospital. The body was small for the age and poorly nourished. The autopsy and postmortem magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI) of formalin-fixed brain revealed advanced unsymmetric brain atrophy with cortical dysplasia, which were prominent in the left temporal and right occipital lobes, and sclerotic atrophy of the parahippocampal gyri, additionally showing a feature of the olivo-ponto-cerebellar atrophy. However, the cause of death was pathologically and microbiologically determined as bacterial bronchopneumonia following pulmonary infection of the influenza A virus. In sudden death cases of physically handicapped infants, the investigation of viral infection in consideration of an epidemiological survey is important even when the death can be pathomorphologically explained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Dec 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Early infantile epileptic encephalopathy
  • Forensic pathology
  • Influenza A virus
  • Pulmonary infection
  • Sudden infant death

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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