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Alisdair Sinclair's heart

Dear Everyone,
    I asked my brother-in-law, a very well known pathologist, about missing
hearts during autopsy.  He saw nothing unusual about Alisdair's heart being
gone.  Here is his explanation:

"Certain organs that are examined at autopsy benefit by being kept aside and
examined more thoroughly at a later date.  Brain is a prime example.  The
heart is another - especially if there is concern for the circulation - the
coronary arteries that bring blood to the heart so it can function (it does
not get its blood from inside the heart).
 The coronary arteries have several branches and there may be obstruction in
them - anywhere in their distribution.    The best way to study this is to
inject the origin of the left and right coronary arteries where they come
off the aorta.  They are injected with a liquid that has baruim in it so
that when an x-ray is taken, the arteries standout.  Then you can go back to
specific points of narrowing and examine them closely - including taking
sections for microscopic exam if you want to.  It also inpoints areas of
blood distribution to look for small areas of heart-muscle damage.

This is all a time consuming job, and so the heart is removed from the body,
separated from the vessels, and set aside to be injected or more meticuously
dissected at a later time.   In some institutions, the hearts from the
previous week's autopsies are kept for a single session and all are cut at
the same time by someone who has special interest or expertise.   The heart
may then be discarded after studies or it can be kept indefinitely since it
has been embalmemd by formalin"


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