Cause of Death for Wisconsin Marathoner Determined

Doctors have determined the cause of death for Adam Nickel, 27 of Madison Wisconsin. You may recall that Nickel died March 2, shortly after completing the Little Rock Marathon.

The Pioneer Press reports that:

a post-mortem examination showed Nickel had “multifocal small coronary artery fibromuscular dysplasia,” or microscopically small heart arteries that tended to restrict the flow of blood, said Dr. Stephen J. Erickson, a pathologist with the state Crime Laboratory who was one of two doctors who conducted the autopsy.

In addition, Nickel’s narrow arteries were located near nodes that regulate electrical pulses in the heart and, combined with electrolyte abnormalities seen in long-distance runners upon completing a race, caused Nickel’s sudden death, Erickson said.

The small arteries are usually seen in older people, not someone in their 20’s.  The doctor’s said that based on their conclusion Nickel died in a matter of seconds and didn’t faint or blackout like would normally happen.  In some sense this is a medical perfect storm of conditions.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to go out to the Nickel family.

[tags] Marathon,  Little Rock,  Adam Nickel [/tags]

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