Shay’s Autopsy Released

Ryan Shay, 28, who died tragically last fall during the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials, died of natural causes.

From the New York Times:

More than four months after Shay’s death, the medical examiner completed the autopsy and toxicology reports, describing his condition as “cardiac arrhythmia due to cardiac hypertrophy with patchy fibrosis of undetermined etiology.”

All of his toxicology reports came back negative. He had previously been diagnosed with an enlarged heart, which may have been a factor in his death. Shay was an accomplished marathoner with a 2:14 PR.

My wife an RN said this:

His heart had a bad rhythm because his heart was enlarged due to an unknown tissue or something.

I am not a doctor but here are definitions from around the web for each phrase of the report:

Cardiac Arrhthmia – a term for any of a large and heterogenous group of conditions in which there is abnormal electrical activity in the heart. The heart beat may be too fast or too slow, and may be regular or irregular.

Cardiac Hypertrophy – is a thickening of the heart muscle (myocardium) which results in a decrease in size of the chamber of the heart, including the left and right ventricles. A common cause of cardiac hypertrophy is high blood pressure (hypertension) and heart valve stenosis.

Fibrosis – is the formation or development of excess fibrous connective tissue in an organ or tissue as a reparative or reactive process, as opposed to a formation of fibrous tissue as a normal constituent of an organ or tissue.

Patchy Fibrosis just means that there was excess tissue growing in patches around the organ – in this case the heart.

Eitiology – is the study of causes

Undetermined Eitiology would just mean of an unknown cause.

It is good to finally know what happened to Shay.  Our thoughts and prayers are still with the entire family and the elite running community as they mourn his loss.

HT: The Final Sprint

2 thoughts on “Shay’s Autopsy Released

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