TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The preliminary results of an autopsy carried out on Alien Huang (黃鴻升) revealed the late Taiwanese entertainer appeared to have died as the result of aortic dissection and blood vessel obstruction.
On the morning of Sept. 16, the late singer, actor, TV host, illustrator, and fashion designer, also known as Xiao Gui (小鬼, Little Ghost), was found to be unresponsive by his 59-year-old father. When paramedics arrived on the scene, Huang wore just a white T-shirt and was lying face down just outside the bathroom, bleeding from his nose and mouth, while his lips were swollen, evidently having been dead for some time.
No traces of drugs or alcohol were found at the scene, nor were there any signs of fighting or intrusion by other parties. Although his family initially refused to allow Huang to undergo an autopsy, the Taipei District Prosecutor's Office requested the procedure as police believed the circumstances of his death were still in question, and the position of his body and an external examination had not provided a conclusive result.
The autopsy was carried out at 2:30 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 18) and forensic pathologists found that he suffered from cardiovascular disease. Huang's agent, who goes by the name Dino, revealed that experts believe that his death was caused by a vascular blockage caused by aortic dissection, reported CNA.
Hsu Jung-pin (許榮彬), director of the Department of Surgery and Cardiovascular Surgery of National Taiwan University Hospital, told the media on Friday that aortic dissection is mainly caused by poor control of high blood pressure. If high blood pressure is not well-controlled, over the long-term, blood may break through the blood vessel wall and cause dissection.
The higher the blood pressure, the higher the risk this could occur, said Hsu. He added that this condition is most likely to occur in people between the ages of 50 and 60.
If aortic dissection takes place with a young person, the probability of a genetic disorder such as Marfan syndrome is higher. Hsu said that in the case of this disease, as long as one parent has the syndrome, their child has a 50 percent chance of inheriting it.
The most common feature among Marfan patients is being very tall and thin, with very long hands and feet. The blood vessel walls in such patients are relatively weak and easy to rupture.
Hsu said that regardless of the type of aortic dissection, it happens quite suddenly. The patient will experience severe chest pain, panting, dizziness, numbness, and even coma.
After aortic dissection occurs, it may cause blockage of the heart and cerebrovascular vessels, leading to myocardial infarction or stroke. Another condition that could result is blood clots that compress the heart, endangering one's life.
He pointed out that most patients die suddenly at the moment of onset, which is the main cause of sudden death in Taiwan. However, because symptoms such as stroke and myocardial infarction are often present. If there is no autopsy, it may be difficult to determine aortic dissection to be the culprit.
Nevertheless, if medical care is provided quickly enough, the patient survival rate can be as high as 70 to 80%. To prevent aortic dissection, Hsu called on people with hypertension to carefully monitor and manage their condition.
As for those persons with Marfan syndrome, if they are diagnosed with the condition, they can take medication to lower their blood pressure and their heart rate, thus reducing the burden on blood vessels.