Definition and Causes of Negative Autopsy


In 2-3 % cases of the autopsy, the cause of death remains unknown even after detailed laboratory examination these cases are termed as negative autopsy. In these cases, gross, histological, Microbiological, Toxicological and Virological examinations show no signs of abnormality and no adverse medical history is present.

Causes of Negative Autopsy

  • Death due to natural diseases like epilepsy, stroke, emotional stress, pathological processes, cardiac diseases.
  • Due to Lack of histopathological and other investigation at autopsy site.
  • Biochemical disturbances include uremia, hyperglycemia, hypokalemia, hypocalcemia, electrolyte imbalance as in potassium deficiency.
  • Reflex vagal inhibition, incompatible blood transfusion, air embolism, allergic reactions including drug idiosyncrasy.
  • The inexperienced doctor or lack of proper training
  • Inadequate history and information regarding the situation in which death occurred.


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