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Report from the CRYCentre for Cardiac Pathology (CRY CCP) By Jane Proudfoot, Dr. Mary Sheppard’s medical secretary at the CRY CCP.

Dr Mary Sheppard Consultant Cardiac Pathologist

Jane Proudfoot Medical Secretary

Saharnaz Vakhshouri Laboratory Technician

Alice Burrell Laboratory Technician

Over the last four months the centre has received 72 young sudden death cases. We always provide a final report to the referring coroner within 14 days. which occurs in both young and older people. Cardiomyopathies are also prominent within the causes of sudden death including arrythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). In addition we have anomalous coronary arteries and diseases of the aorta. There is a wide spectrum of diseases causing sudden death and we are able to come to a specific diagnosis in all cases after the processing of the heart. Dr Sheppard works as a single practice pathologist and needs more pathologists to help in doing this work and to assist with the training of future cardiac pathologists.

Our numbers are increasing from year to year. It is a reflection of the value of the CRY cardiac pathology service that we are getting more cases referred from coroners throughout the UK. This year we received in total 234 cases. More pathologists are becoming aware of the service and are using it. This however means there is more pressure on staff to ensure our rapid turnaround. There is also considerable variation in cases from month-to-month, as reflected in the 2012 figures.

Publications Dr Sheppard has had 6 significant publications arising from her work and in addition she has been invited to review in pathology journals, emphasising the approach to the cardiac autopsy and dealing with bereaved families after sudden death.

Causes of sudden cardiac death We were able to provide a cause of death in all cases sent. The majority of cases were diagnosed as having normal hearts indicating possible electrical abnormalities as the cause of young sudden death. We also saw a significant number due to coronary artery disease,

16 • CRY update • Issue 59

Dr Sheppard is very involved in guidelines for the training of cardiovascular pathologists and, in association with the United States Cardiovascular Society and the European Association for Cardiovascular Pathology, we have published guidelines on processing cases that are referred for an opinion.

CRY Update Magazine - Issue 59  

CRY’s quarterly update magazine with news and information about the charity and our supporters. Registered Charity 1050845.

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