Mode of death in Shapiro syndrome: A case report

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background Shapiro syndrome is extremely rare and is characterized by the triad of spontaneous periodic hypothermia, hyperhidrosis and agenesis of the corpus callosum, resulting in neurological and psychological disorders. The exact mechanism of this syndrome is unknown and treatment consists of controlling the periodic attacks. This case report describes a case of Shapiro syndrome presenting with ventricular fibrillation (VF) who was treated with dual chamber implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) therapy. Case summary A 45-year-old man, suffering from Shapiro syndrome with frequent hypothermic attacks, was admitted to the emergency department with an out of hospital cardiac arrest caused by VF due to hypothermia. To prevent cardiac death during future hypothermic attacks with VF, the patient was treated with a dual chamber ICD. Within 1 month after ICD implantation the patient had two events of ventricular tachycardia/VF during hypothermia, which were both successfully terminated by an ICD shock. One year after ICD implantation the patient suffered from an uncontrolled urinary tract infection and the patient passed away. Post-mortem interrogation of the ICD did not reveal further episodes of VF and showed a higher supraventricular heartrate in the last days before his death, probably due to a sinus tachycardia driven by the infection. It was concluded that the most likely cause of death was an uncontrolled sepsis. Discussion The current case showed that ICD therapy can be successful in treating VF episodes in patients with unexpected periods of hypothermia.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Heart Journal - Case Reports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Cite this