Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a leading cause of total and cardiovascular mortality, and ventricular fibrillation is the underlying arrhythmia in the majority of cases. In the young, where the incidence of SCD is low, a great proportion of SCDs occur in the context of inherited disorders such as cardiomyopathy or primary electrical disease, where a monogenic hereditary component is a strong determinant of risk. Marked advancement has been made over the past 15 years in the understanding of the genetic basis of the primary electrical disorders, and this has had an enormous impact on the management of these patients. At older ages, the great majority of SCDs occur in the context of acute myocardial ischemia and infarction. Although epidemiologic studies have shown that heritable factors also determine risk in these cases, inheritance is likely complex and multifactorial, and progress in understanding the genetic and molecular mechanisms that determine susceptibility to these arrhythmias, affecting a greater proportion of the population, has been very limited. We review the most recent insights gained into the genetic basis of both the monogenic and the more complex ventricular arrhythmias.
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- Genetic Basis of Ventricular Arrhythmias
Arthur A. M. Wilde
Connie R. Bezzina
- Current Science Inc.
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