Mechanisms of sudden cardiac death

Samuel K. McElwee, Alejandro Velasco, Harish Doppalapudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) continues to be a major public health problem and is thought to account for almost half of all cardiac deaths. Cardiac arrest and SCD are most commonly due to ventricular arrhythmias. Most patients who suffer cardiac arrest have underlying structural heart disease, with coronary artery disease (CAD) being the most common. In the setting of CAD, ventricular arrhythmias can result due to acute ischemia in the absence of preexisting myocardial scarring or in the presence of established scar from prior infarction without clinically significant ischemia. LV systolic dysfunction is an important predictor of risk for SCD in ischemic heart disease and in most nonischemic disorders, although other factors such as ventricular hypertrophy also play a role. Cardiac arrest and SCD can also occur due to primary electrical disorders in the absence of major structural abnormalities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1368-1379
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Nuclear Cardiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Cardiomyopathy
  • ejection fraction
  • magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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