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Autopsy and Medicine
August 9/23, 1999

Case of the Month: Incidental and Not-So-Incidental Findings

Dean M. Havlik, MD; Wilbur L. Williams, MD; Randy Hanzlick, MD; et al and the Autopsy Committee of the College of American Pathologists
Arch Intern Med. 1999;159(15):1655-1656. doi:10.1001/archinte.159.15.1655

A 63-YEAR-OLD Hispanic man was a moderate alcohol consumer with a 50 pack-year history of cigarette smoking. After the onset of acute nonradiating chest pain, he was taken to the emergency department, where his chest pain continued and he became restless and cyanotic. Cardiac arrest occurred within 15 minutes, and resuscitative attempts were unsuccessful. The emergency department physicians requested an autopsy to determine the cause of death, which they suspected was a ruptured aortic aneurysm.