A family with recurrent sudden death and no clinical clue

Ann Noninvasive Electrocardiol. 2012 Oct;17(4):387-93. doi: 10.1111/anec.12024.


Background: Sudden cardiac death of a child is a devastating event for the family and an enormous challenge for the attending physician.

Methods and results: We report a family with repeat events of sudden cardiac death and recurrent ventricular fibrillation in a teenage girl, where autopsy data and clinical investigations were inconclusive. The diagnosis of catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT) was established only following finding a gene mutation in the cardiac ryanodine receptor.

Conclusions: Interpretation of autopsy data, provocation testing and genetic testing in victims of sudden death and family members are discussed to correctly identify the cause and properly manage asymptomatic carriers in such families.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autopsy
  • Cardiomyopathy, Hypertrophic / genetics
  • Child
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electric Countershock
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Family Health
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / methods
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel / genetics*
  • Syncope / genetics*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / genetics*
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / therapy
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / genetics*


  • Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Release Channel

Supplementary concepts

  • Polymorphic catecholergic ventricular tachycardia