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Fatal amniotic fluid embolism diagnosed histologically.

Although the mortality of amniotic fluid embolism remains very high, there are more and more reports of patients surviving after prompt and aggressive therapy. However its pathogenesis is controversial, and, in some cases, an anaphylactic reaction to the amniotic fluid rather than the hemodynamic changes following mechanical obstruction by an embolus has been proposed as the underlying pathophysiological mechanism. In this paper we describe a case of amniotic fluid embolism with florid clinical features and a difficult and delayed diagnosis. On autopsy, clear-cut histological changes of amniotic fluid embolism were found.

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