Multimodality Imaging of Sudden Cardiac Death and Acute Complications in Acute Coronary Syndrome

J Clin Med. 2022 Sep 26;11(19):5663. doi: 10.3390/jcm11195663.


Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a potentially fatal event usually caused by a cardiac arrhythmia, which is often the result of coronary artery disease (CAD). Up to 80% of patients suffering from SCD have concomitant CAD. Arrhythmic complications may occur in patients with acute coronary syndrome (ACS) before admission, during revascularization procedures, and in hospital intensive care monitoring. In addition, about 20% of patients who survive cardiac arrest develop a transmural myocardial infarction (MI). Prevention of ACS can be evaluated in selected patients using cardiac computed tomography angiography (CCTA), while diagnosis can be depicted using electrocardiography (ECG), and complications can be evaluated with cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and echocardiography. CCTA can evaluate plaque, burden of disease, stenosis, and adverse plaque characteristics, in patients with chest pain. ECG and echocardiography are the first-line tests for ACS and are affordable and useful for diagnosis. CMR can evaluate function and the presence of complications after ACS, such as development of ventricular thrombus and presence of myocardial tissue characterization abnormalities that can be the substrate of ventricular arrhythmias.

Keywords: acute myocardial infarction; cardiac arrhythmias; ischemic cardiomyopathy; late gadolinium enhancement; myocardial edema; ventricular thrombus.

Publication types

  • Review

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.