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Updated: Feb 3 2019

Sudden Cardiac Death

  • Snapshot
    • A 52-year-old man was eating dinner with his family before unexpectedly collapsing. He was recently diagnosed with an ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction affecting his anterolateral heart. In the emergency room, an electrocardiogram demonstrates ventricular tachycardia. Despite resuscitative efforts, he dies within the next 30 minutes.
  • Introduction
    • Clinical definition
      • unexpected death secondary to cardiac causes within 1 hour of symptom onset
    • Epidemiology
      • risk factors
        • coronary artery disease (leading cause)
        • hereditary or acquired cardiac conduction abnormalities
        • congenital coronary artery abnormalities
        • myocardial hypertrophy
        • mitral valve prolapse
    • Pathogenesis
      • most often due to a lethal arrhythmia such as
        • asystole
        • ventricular fibrillation
        • ventricular tachycardia
    • Prognosis
      • early effective medical intervention and implantable automatic cardioverter defibrillators improve outcomes
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