Sudden cardiac death pathophysiology

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Sara Zand, M.D.[2] José Eduardo Riceto Loyola Junior, M.D.[3] Edzel Lorraine Co, DMD, MD[4]


The pathogenesis of cardiac arrest is characterized by the myocardial inflammatory process in the setting of atherosclerosis, structural heart disease, genetic disorders, and environmental factors. The SCN5A, KCNH2, KCNQ1, RYR2, MYBPC3, PKP2, DSP genes mutation are associated with the development of inherited causes of cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death.


Structural and functional causes of sudden cardiac death
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Myocardial ischemia/reperfusion
  • Emotional, physical stress
  • Hemodynamic decompensation
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Hypoxemia,acidosis
  • Neurophysiological interactions
  • Drugs
    Arrhythmia mechanism
  • Re-entry
  • Automaticity
  • Triggered activity
  • Conduction block
    Fatal arrhythmia
  • Monomorphic ventricular tachycardia
  • Polymorphic ventricular tachycardia
  • Ventricular fibrillation
  • Profound bradycardia
  • Asystole
  • Pulseless electrical activity


    1. Osman, Junaida; Tan, Shing Cheng; Lee, Pey Yee; Low, Teck Yew; Jamal, Rahman (2019). "Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) – risk stratification and prediction with molecular biomarkers". Journal of Biomedical Science. 26 (1). doi:10.1186/s12929-019-0535-8. ISSN 1423-0127.
    2. Mehta, Davendra; Curwin, Jay; Gomes, J. Anthony; Fuster, Valentin (1997). "Sudden Death in Coronary Artery Disease". Circulation. 96 (9): 3215–3223. doi:10.1161/01.CIR.96.9.3215. ISSN 0009-7322.
    3. Akhtar, Masood (1991). "Sudden Cardiac Death: Management of High-Risk Patients". Annals of Internal Medicine. 114 (6): 499. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-114-6-499. ISSN 0003-4819.
    4. Basso, Cristina; Perazzolo Marra, Martina; Rizzo, Stefania; De Lazzari, Manuel; Giorgi, Benedetta; Cipriani, Alberto; Frigo, Anna Chiara; Rigato, Ilaria; Migliore, Federico; Pilichou, Kalliopi; Bertaglia, Emanuele; Cacciavillani, Luisa; Bauce, Barbara; Corrado, Domenico; Thiene, Gaetano; Iliceto, Sabino (2015). "Arrhythmic Mitral Valve Prolapse and Sudden Cardiac Death". Circulation. 132 (7): 556–566. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.016291. ISSN 0009-7322.
    5. Tsushima T, Patel TR, Sahadevan J (2021). "Unusual Cause of Cardiac Arrest". JAMA Intern Med. 181 (4): 542–543. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.8370. PMID 33464284 Check |pmid= value (help).

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