Hormone levels were measured in victims of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) to look for clues to the cause of death. SIDS victims who had petechiae on their intrathoracic organs had higher blood levels of cortisol than victims without such petechiae (25 vs 9 μg/100 ml, P <.005). This raises the possibility that SIDS victims who had petechiae had a longer period of predeath stress than did victims without petechiae since experimental studies have shown that the circulation must continue for a time after stress begins to produce such petechiae. The low normal level of cortisol (9 μg/100 ml) in SIDS victims who did not have petechiae raises the possibility that their circulation stopped rather promptly after the final stress began. Hypoxemia may have been the mechanism of death in many of the SIDS victims with petechiae. These victims had 20% more muscle in their pulmonary arteries than did victims without petechiae (P <.05). This muscle increase is a presumed marker for chronic hypoventilation which leads to hypoxemia.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - 1980|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health