Latent Causes of Sudden Cardiac Arrest

JACC Clin Electrophysiol. 2022 Jun;8(6):806-821. doi: 10.1016/j.jacep.2021.12.014.


Inherited arrhythmia syndromes are a common cause of apparently unexplained cardiac arrest or sudden cardiac death. These include long QT syndrome and Brugada syndrome, with a well-recognized phenotype in most patients with sufficiently severe disease to lead to cardiac arrest. Less common and typically less apparent conditions that may not be readily evident include catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, short QT syndrome and early repolarization syndrome. In cardiac arrest patients whose extensive testing does not reveal an underlying etiology, a diagnosis of idiopathic ventricular fibrillation or short-coupled ventricular fibrillation is assigned. This review summarizes our current understanding of the less common inherited arrhythmia syndromes and provides clinicians with a practical approach to diagnosis and management.

Keywords: inherited; sudden death; ventricular arrhythmia.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / genetics
  • Brugada Syndrome* / genetics
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Heart Arrest* / complications
  • Humans
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / complications
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / genetics