SYSTEMATIC REVIEW
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Non-traumatic and spontaneous hemothorax in the setting of forensic medical examination: a systematic literature survey.

Spontaneous hemothorax is a well-known yet seldom-reported entity in forensic literature. While trauma-related hemothorax is frequently encountered in a medicolegal setting, non-traumatic and spontaneous hemothorax are relatively uncommon entities. The wide range of causes that can trigger fatal intrathoracic bleeding include thoracic aortic dissection, followed by vascular malformations, various oncological diseases, and connective tissue abnormalities. In rare instances, extramedullary hematopoiesis, ectopic pregnancy, congenital heart defects, amyloidosis, or parasitic diseases may constitute a source of bleeding. This etiological heterogeneity may, as a result, cause diagnostic difficulties during post-mortem elucidation of hemothorax. It should be borne in mind that hemothorax after low-energy trauma does not exclusively indicate traumatic hemorrhage, hence, the non-traumatic origin of bleeding must be taken into consideration. In this paper, we present a systematic review of the relevant literature enriched by the results of our observations to investigate the etiologies and recommendations for the post-mortem diagnosis of spontaneous hemothorax in an attempt to better delineate the possible medicolegal considerations. It is important that forensic pathologist as well as clinicians are aware of the diseases that could potentially give rise to fatal hemothorax.

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