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Report from the CRY Centre for Cardiac Pathology (CRY CCP) By Alice Burrell, Dr. Mary Sheppard’s Acting Medical Secretary at the CRY CCP. Between May and August 2013 we have received 153 sudden death referral cases and have successfully kept our average turnaround time below 14 days; with an average of 11.4 days for pathological processing, examination and completion of Dr Sheppard’s final report for the referring coroner and pathologist with times peaking slightly in recent months due to staff summer holidays. Referral numbers are generally increasing compared to those of 2012, a positive outcome, hopefully showing that knowledge of the existence of sudden cardiac death and our facilities here at the CRY research centre are increasing.

Diagnoses We were able to come to a specific diagnosis in all referred cases following the pathological processing and examination of the heart with consent from the families. In the majority of cases of sudden cardiac death there is an electrical abnormality of the heart that is the main cause for the sudden death,


Dr Mary Sheppard, Consultant Cardiac Pathologist

and in these cases genetic follow up and screening of family members is particularly important.

New Location of CRY CCP Research Centre Dr Sheppard has recently been appointed as professor of Cardiovascular Pathology at St George’s Medical School. The CRY unit will be moving to the new laboratory there in late September 2013.

Publications • Sharleen Hill’s paper on anomalous coronary arteries was accepted by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. • Sofia de Noronha’s paper on the work of the CRY unit was accepted by Europace. • Alice Burrell’s paper on arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is in the process of being submitted to the European Heart Journal. This will be the largest pathological study of its kind in the UK. • Katsuya Norita is working on a publication reporting the findings from the whole database of 2,500 cases of sudden cardiac death that we have received at our research centre since opening in 2007.

Teaching Dr Sheppard’s course ‘Adult Cardiovascular Pathology’ at the

Alice Burrell, Acting Medical Secretary

Saharnaz Vakhshouri, Laboratory Technician

National Heart and Lung Institute (NHLI) ran successfully for another year at Imperial College London from the 16th - 17th May 2013, with 60 pathologists from all over the world in attendance. Her course emphasises the pathological investigation of sudden death and the taking of genetic material at autopsy in order to establish any genetic causes of sudden cardiac death to enable screening of any family members who may be at risk. We have seen a positive yearly increase in the amount of referred genetic material provided with cases.

Students Recently Lydia and Dimitra Krexi have been working with us on sabbatical, researching stress and sudden death, mitral valve prolapse and pulmonary disease.

Lectures and Inquests Dr Sheppard was invited to the following international lectures: Imperial Clinical Trials trust; Worshipful Society of Apothecaries of London Guest Dinner; Post-Operative Death Meeting held at the Royal Society of Medicine, the Working Group of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) in Marseilles, France; European Association for European Cardiovascular Pathology meeting in Amsterdam; Australia & New Zealand pathological society meeting. Dr Sheppard continues to attend inquests, attending four inquests from May to August on sudden death cases from within the UK.

Issue 61 | May to August 2013

CRY Update Magazine - Issue 61  
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