Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 551–554 | Cite as

Occult cardiac lymphoma and sudden death

  • Kelly Olds
  • Karen Heath
  • John Miliauskas
  • Roger W. Byard
Images in Forensics


A 56-year-old man with no previous medical history collapsed and was not able to be resuscitated. The major findings at autopsy were enlargement of the heart (weight = 527 g) which contained an infiltrating firm, homogeneous tumor in an epicardial location adjacent to the left anterior descending and right coronary arteries, with further extension into the right ventricular outflow tract, the interventricular septum and left ventricular free wall. Sections showed sheets of small lymphoid cells with scattered large lymphocytes amounting to a low-grade follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma, as tumor cells were CD20, CD10, Bcl 2 and LMO 2 positive. This case demonstrates a very rare cause of sudden and unexpected death that resulted from a low-grade follicular lymphoma in an asymptomatic, immunocompetent individual.


Cardiac Follicular lymphoma Non-Hodgkin Sudden death 



This study was not funded.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

This paper was approved by Forensic Science SA.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelly Olds
    • 1
  • Karen Heath
    • 2
    • 3
  • John Miliauskas
    • 4
  • Roger W. Byard
    • 2
    • 3
    • 5
  1. 1.School of MedicineUniversity of Notre DamePerthAustralia
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.Forensic Science SAAdelaideAustralia
  4. 4.SA PathologyAdelaideAustralia
  5. 5.School of Health SciencesThe University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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