Negative autopsy is a post-mortem examination in which a comprehensive analysis does not provide a cause of death. These include situation of death, anatomical and histological analysis, toxicology and microbiological study. A low part of autopsies remain without a conclusive cause of death, but all these cases are usually seen in young population, apparently healthy who died suddenly and unexpectedly. In these situations a cardiac arrhythmia is suspected as cause of death and genetic testing is recommended despite not regularly performed. Sudden death is a natural and unexpected decease that occurs in apparently healthy people, or whose disease was not severe enough to expect a fatal outcome. It can be due to several pathologies, usually of cardiac cause and called sudden cardiac death. In infants and young people, both long QT syndrome and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia are main causes in negative autopsies. These genetic diseases lead to ventricular fibrillation, syncope and sudden cardiac death in a normal heart. Unfortunately, sudden cardiac death could be the first manifestation of the diseases, being early identification and prevention a crucial point in current medical practice. This chapter focuses on sudden death and negative autopsy in young population, mainly due to cardiac arrhythmias.
Part of the book: Post Mortem Examination and Autopsy