An autopsy case report of aortic dissection complicated with histiolymphocytic pericarditis and aortic inflammation after mRNA COVID-19 vaccination
- •An autopsy case report of pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination is presented.
- •Extended inflammation of the aortic wall was histologically confirmed.
- •Macrophages and lymphocytes infiltrated, along with a small number of eosinophils.
A male in his 90 s consulted a doctor because he experienced several days of general fatigue and dyspnea. He was diagnosed with heart failure, and diuretic medications taken for 3 days relieved his symptoms. However, he was found dead on the morning of the fourth day after consultation. He had received a third dose of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine approximately 2 weeks before death. An autopsy revealed dissection of the ascending aorta and pericardial hemotamponade. The heart showed a white villous surface, and the pericardium was fibrously thick. Microscopic examination revealed pericarditis with predominantly macrophage and lymphocyte infiltration. These histological findings were compatible with those of post-vaccination myocarditis. To the best of our knowledge, histopathologically proven pericarditis after COVID-19 vaccination has not been reported. In the present case, extended inflammation of the aortic adventitia was a possible cause of aortic wall fragility followed by dissection.