International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 411–421 | Cite as

Immunohistochemical detection of early myocardial infarction: a systematic review

  • Cristina Mondello
  • Luigi Cardia
  • Elvira Ventura-SpagnoloEmail author


The postmortem diagnosis of early myocardial infarction is a challenge for forensic pathologists because the routine histology is neither specific. Many authors have suggested the use of the immunohistochemistry to fill the gaps in the histological diagnosis of early myocardial infarction. This review aims to analyse advances of immunohistochemical detection of early cardiac damage due to ischaemia. To this purpose, we reviewed experimental studies that investigated immunohistochemical markers and their estimated timing of expression. The review was performed according to specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, and a total of 23 studies assessing the immunohistochemical markers for the diagnosis and timing of early myocardial infarction were identified. The literature review highlights that the analysed markers are complement components, others being inflammatory mediators, cardiac cell proteins, plasma proteins, stress or hypoxia-induced factors and proteins associated with heart failure. All studies demonstrate the effectiveness of the tested markers in the early detection of myocardial infarction in both animal and human samples.


Early myocardial infarction Immunohistochemistry Sudden cardiac death Systematic review 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristina Mondello
    • 1
  • Luigi Cardia
    • 2
  • Elvira Ventura-Spagnolo
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical Science and of Morphological and Functional ImagesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  2. 2.Department of NeurosciencesUniversity of MessinaMessinaItaly
  3. 3.Legal Medicine Section – Department for Health Promotion and Mother-Child CareUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly

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