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March 11, 1983

Electrophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Sudden Cardiac Death

Author Affiliations

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey Rutgers Medical School New Brunswick

JAMA. 1983;249(10):1362. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330340082043

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This book presents a succinct compilation of the current information on sudden death obtained by investigators with a broad spectrum of scientific interests. Thirty-five clinical investigators and basic scientists contributed 25 chapters. The editors summarize the presentations with their conclusions and perspective. The broadly ranging discussions of sudden death include basic mechanisms, epidemiologic factors, clinical observations, multicenter clinical trial data, organized emergency resuscitation, and pharmacologic and surgical treatments.

The magnitude of the problem is estimated at more than 300,000 incidents in the United States each year, with the preponderance in patients with coronary heart disease. Predisposing factors may include cigarette smoking, hypertension, premature ventricular beats, abnormal response to exercise, physiological and emotional stress in susceptible patients with coronary heart disease, and left ventricular dysfunction. Since the causes of ventricular fibrillation and sudden death are multiple and complex, it is apparent that the mechanism for the development of malignant arrhythmia varies