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Cause of Piana’s death still unknown

A report by a medical examiner who completed internet celebrity bodybuilder Rich Piana’s autopsy was released with the cause of his death still unknown.

Key elements of the report are:

  • An enlarged heart from “significant heart disease”
  • Mild coronary atherosclerosis
  • Fatty liver
  • Congested thyroid
  • Congested and discoloured kidneys
  • Ischemic brain tissue (i.e. brain tissue that had lost blood supply)
  • Necrotic brain tissue (i.e. dead cells)
  • Brain edema (swelling)
  • Ascites (accumulation of protein-containing fluid in the abdomen)

Piana, who openly admitted using anabolic steroids over the course of 25 years, died on 25 August 2017 after spending two weeks in an induced coma in an attempt to reduce swelling to his brain. He was rushed to hospital after collapsing at his home while receiving a haircut from his girlfriend Chanel Jansen.

The autopsy’s notes also concerned Piana’s lungs, which were filled with fluid and appeared swollen (bronchopneumonia pleural effusion with edema), displaying apparent fat emboli and micro-abscesses, plus both acute and chronic inflammatory cells. No toxicology tests were administered.

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