Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2021 Jan 19. doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000661. Online ahead of print.
The association between earlobe crease(s) and coronary artery atherosclerosis has stimulated debate and controversy over the years. Most available published studies have been conducted on living patients. Although these studies offer valuable insight into such associations in patients who exhibit symptoms, no information is available from these studies on the prevalence of earlobe creases among an asymptomatic population. Postmortem studies offer the advantage of including individuals free of symptomatic cardiovascular disease, thus providing an inbuilt control group. The atherosclerotic pathological findings of 1298 individuals who underwent coronial postmortem examination at Wellington Regional Hospital, New Zealand, between 2006 and 2013 were retrospectively studied. Earlobe creases and atherosclerosis involving the coronary arteries were semiquantitatively appraised. The presence of an earlobe crease was found to be significantly associated with coronary artery atherosclerosis.