Sudden Cardiac Death in Patients with Ventricular Preexcitation

Card Electrophysiol Clin. 2020 Dec;12(4):519-525. doi: 10.1016/j.ccep.2020.08.002. Epub 2020 Sep 23.


Patients with the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome may experience benign and malignant arrhythmias, the most common being atrioventricular reentrant tachycardias. This arrhythmia may degenerate into atrial fibrillation, which can be conducted over an accessory pathway capable of exceptionally fast conduction to the ventricles and degenerate into ventricular fibrillation, leading to sudden cardiac death. These life-threatening events generally affect symptomatic patients in their third or fourth decade. Although rare, ventricular fibrillation may be the first clinical manifestation in subjects who are asymptomatic or unaware of their conditions. Electrophysiologic study may be useful to identify subjects at high risk of sudden cardiac death.

Keywords: Atrial fibrillation; Kent bundle; Sudden cardiac death; Ventricular fibrillation; Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Accessory Atrioventricular Bundle / physiopathology
  • Adult
  • Atrial Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pre-Excitation Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / physiopathology
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Young Adult