Rich Piana’s Autopsy Released. What Was Rich Piana’s Cause Of Death?

Rich Piana’s autopsy report was released on November 8th, 2017. A cause of death was not specified, but damage to various internal organs was found.

What Happened To Rich Piana?

On August 7th, 2017, while receiving a haircut from his girlfriend, Chanel Jansen,  Rich Piana suddenly collapsed in the bathroom of his Florida home. Paramedics rushed to his home while Jansen administered CPR, and upon their arrival they rushed Rich Piana to the hospital.

For two long weeks, Rich was accompanied by his family at his bedside. Chanel Jansen opened up a dedicated line and voicemail where Rich’s dedicated fans could leave well wishes. Jansen played back many of the messages for Rich while he rested in a medically induced coma.

It was speculated that Rich Piana had suffered a head injury due to his fall. It was also reported that white powder had been found at Piana’s home – Jansen claimed this was pre-workout powder. However, nobody knew for sure what had happened to Rich Piana. For two long weeks, fans waited and speculated. Then, on August 25th, Rich Piana was removed from life support and passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family. The bodybuilding community mourned in unison – though there were varied perspectives on what may have killed Rich and opinions of his extreme lifestyle, most agreed that he was a magnanimous, larger-than-life figure & gentle giant that would be missed.

In the months since, the bodybuilding community has continued to speculate as to what the exact cause of Rich Piana’s death was. There were various theories – everything from Rich’s long history of steroid use to insulin have been mentioned. On November 8th, 2017, Rich Piana’s autopsy report was released.

What Did Rich Piana’s Autopsy Report Contain?

The full autopsy report can be accessed at MuckRock. The results of the report confirmed some aspects of what people suspected might be the case in terms of the condition of Rich Piana’s internal organs. Here is a summary of what was reported in Rich Piana’s autopsy report:

  • Heart Disease: The autopsy confirmed that Rich Piana was suffering from heart disease. Specifically, the report characterized it as significant heart disease.
  • Mild Hardening of Arteries
  • Congested & Discolored Kidneys: Some people speculated that Rich Piana was suffering from kidney disease or some form of kidney degradation. This suspicion was partially fueled by Rich’s rice heavy, bland diet that he was consuming in his final weeks.
  • Congested Thyroid
  • Fatty Liver
  • Ischemic Brain Tissue
  • Necrotic Brain Tissue: Rich was unconscious for a period of time after his initial fall. It was likely during this period of time that Rich Piana’s brain was deprived of oxygen.
  • Lung Abnormalities: The condition of Rich Piana’s lungs was given a considerable amount of attention in autopsy report. In particular, it was observed that Piana’s lungs were swollen and filled with fluid. Additionally, there was a presence of inflammatory cells.
Did Rich Piana Really Hit His Head?

Rich Piana’s autopsy does not outline any significant brain or head trauma aside from a deprivation of oxygen. The autopsy report states, “No recent significant injuries.” The implication is that while Rich may have hit his head in his initial fall, it wasn’t significant enough to result in any significant trauma.

What Was Rich Piana’s Cause of Death?

Rich Piana’s autopsy report did not include a specific cause of death. Both the cause and manner of Rich Piana’s death were designated in the autopsy as undetermined. Given Rich’s heart disease, and the fact that he survived an 18 day coma, it would be difficult to definitely determine a single cause of death.