Journal List > Korean J Leg Med > v.37(3) > 1004709

Korean J Leg Med. 2013 Aug;37(3):167-170. Korean.
Published online August 29, 2013.
© Copyright 2013 by the Korean Society for Legal Medicine
Sudden Death associated with Thyrotoxicosis: Report of Three Autopsy Cases
Ju-yeon Kim,1 Min-jung Kim,2 Sohyung Park,3 and Hongil Ha4
1Department of Pathology, Pusan National University Hospital, Busan, Korea.
2Division of Forensic Medicine, National Forensic Service, Seoul, Korea.
3Division of Forensic Medicine, Eastern District Office, National Forensic Service, Wonju-si, Gangwon, Korea.
4Division of Forensic Medicine, Southern District Office, National Forensic Service, Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam, Korea.

Corresponding author (Email: )
Received July 28, 2013; Revised August 14, 2013; Accepted August 23, 2013.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Thyrotoxicosis (thyroid crisis) is a known cause of sudden death; however, only a few cases of death resulting from thyrotoxicosis have been reported. Histopathologic examination and postmortem thyroid function tests may be helpful in postmortem diagnosis, but their usefulness seems to be limited. We report three autopsy cases associated with thyrotoxicosis.

Keywords: Thyrotoxicosis; Sudden death; Thyroid crisis; Autopsy


Fig. 1
(Case 1) The thyroid gland shows relatively symmetric enlargement with soft and meaty parenchyma (a). There are follicles of varying size, lined by tall columnar cells with decrease in the amount of colloid and formation of pseudopapillary structures (b: H & E, × 200).
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Fig. 2
(Case 2) There are diffuse hyperplasia of follicular epithelial cells in thyroid gland (H & E, × 200).
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Fig. 3
(Case 3) The cut surface shows nodules of varying size and a glistening parenchyma. Focal calcifications are seen (a). There are small follicles with scanty colloid lined by low cuboidal cells (b: H & E, × 200).
Click for larger image

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