Hepatic hemangioendothelioma presenting as sudden unexpected death in infancy: A case report

Johan Dempers, Shabbir Ahmed Wadee, Theonia Boyd, Colleen Wright, Hein J. Odendaal, Mary Ann Sens, Larry Burd, Kimberly A. Dukes, Amy Elliott, William P. Fifer, Rebecca Folkerth, Gary Hankins, Dale Herald, Hannah C. Kinney, Michael M. Myers, Caroline Signore, Lisa M. Sullivan, Marian Willinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The classification of an unexpected infant death as suddeninfant death syndrome (SIDS) depends upon a complete autopsy, death scene investigation, and review of medical history to exclude known causes of death. Death from occult neoplastic disease in infancy is extremely rare but is within the broad differential diagnosis of SIDS. We report the sudden and unexpected death of a 1-month-old infant from a hepatic (infantile) hemangioendothelioma. The physiologic mechanism of death was likely cardiac failure induced by the circulatory demands of this large vascular tumor and respiratory compromise from diaphragmatic thoracic incursion. The clinical progression and pathology of these relatively common tumors of infant livers are extremely variable. This case dramatically illustrates the potential for fatal outcome of this tumor, as well as the need for autopsy to determine the cause of sudden and unexpected death in an infant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-74
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric and Developmental Pathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Autopsy
  • Death scene investigation
  • Heart failure
  • Hepatic neoplasms
  • Sudden unexplained death in infancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Hepatic hemangioendothelioma presenting as sudden unexpected death in infancy: A case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this