Concept: Sudden cardiac death
Health insurance has many benefits including improved financial security, greater access to preventive care, and better self-perceived health. However, the influence of health insurance on major health outcomes is unclear. Sudden cardiac arrest prevention represents one of the major potential benefits from health insurance, given the large impact of sudden cardiac arrest on premature death and its potential sensitivity to preventive care.
Sudden cardiac death exhibits diurnal variation in both acquired and hereditary forms of heart disease, but the molecular basis of this variation is unknown. A common mechanism that underlies susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias is abnormalities in the duration (for example, short or long QT syndromes and heart failure) or pattern (for example, Brugada’s syndrome) of myocardial repolarization. Here we provide molecular evidence that links circadian rhythms to vulnerability in ventricular arrhythmias in mice. Specifically, we show that cardiac ion-channel expression and QT-interval duration (an index of myocardial repolarization) exhibit endogenous circadian rhythmicity under the control of a clock-dependent oscillator, krüppel-like factor 15 (Klf15). Klf15 transcriptionally controls rhythmic expression of Kv channel-interacting protein 2 (KChIP2), a critical subunit required for generating the transient outward potassium current. Deficiency or excess of Klf15 causes loss of rhythmic QT variation, abnormal repolarization and enhanced susceptibility to ventricular arrhythmias. These findings identify circadian transcription of ion channels as a mechanism for cardiac arrhythmogenesis.
Anomalies of coronary number and course represent an opinion-dividing topic in cardiopathology, particularly for their relationship with sudden cardiac death. To the best of our knowledge, we herein report the first fatal case of a young female whose coronary anatomy was characterised by the absence of any septal perforator branch in the proximal segment of the LAD. This case could be useful for pathologists, coronary angiographers, and interventional cardiologists in detecting this infrequent anomaly, thus providing a more accurate estimation of its incidence. Virtual Slides The virtual slide(s) for this article can be found here: http://www.diagnosticpathology.diagnomx.eu/vs/3570015858473043.
The Brugada syndrome (BrS) is a malignant, genetically-determined, arrhythmic syndrome manifesting as syncope or sudden cardiac death (SCD) in individuals with structurally normal hearts. The diagnosis of the BrS is mainly based on the presence of a spontaneous or Na + channel blocker induced characteristic, electrocardiographic (ECG) pattern (type 1 or coved Brugada ECG pattern) typically seen in leads V1 and V2 recorded from the 4th to 2nd intercostal (i.c.) spaces. This pattern needs to be distinguished from similar ECG changes due to other causes (Brugada ECG phenocopies). This review focuses mainly on the ECG-based methods for diagnosis and arrhythmia risk assessment in the BrS. Presently, the main unresolved clinical problem is the identification of those patients at high risk of SCD who need implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), which is the only therapy with proven efficacy. Current guidelines recommend ICD implantation only in patients with spontaneous type 1 ECG pattern, and either history of aborted cardiac arrest or documented sustained VT (class I), or syncope of arrhythmic origin (class IIa) because they are at high risk of recurrent arrhythmic events (up to 10% or more annually for those with aborted cardiac arrest). The majority of BrS patients are asymptomatic when diagnosed and considered to have low risk (around 0.5% annually) and therefore not indicated for ICD. The majority of SCD victims in the BrS, however, had no symptoms prior to the fatal event and therefore were not protected with an ICD. While some ECG markers such as QRS fragmentation, infero-lateral early repolarisation, and abnormal late potentials on signal-averaged ECG are known to be linked to increased arrhythmic risk, they are not sufficiently sensitive or specific. Potential novel ECG-based strategies for risk stratification are discussed based on computerised methods for depolarisation and repolarisation analysis, a composite approach targeting several major components of ventricular arrhythmogenesis, and the collection of large digital ECG databases in genotyped BrS patients and their relatives.
- Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
- Published almost 4 years ago
Cardiopulmonary complications are the leading cause of mortality in sickle cell anemia (SCA). Elevated tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity, pulmonary hypertension, diastolic, and autonomic dysfunction have all been described, but a unifying pathophysiology and mechanism explaining the poor prognosis and propensity to sudden death has been elusive. Herein, SCA mice underwent a longitudinal comprehensive cardiac analysis, combining state-of-the-art cardiac imaging with electrocardiography, histopathology, and molecular analysis to determine the basis of cardiac dysfunction. We show that in SCA mice, anemia-induced hyperdynamic physiology was gradually superimposed with restrictive physiology, characterized by progressive left atrial enlargement and diastolic dysfunction with preserved systolic function. This phenomenon was absent in WT mice with experimentally induced chronic anemia of similar degree and duration. Restrictive physiology was associated with microscopic cardiomyocyte loss and secondary fibrosis detectable as increased extracellular volume by cardiac-MRI. Ultrastructural mitochondrial changes were consistent with severe chronic hypoxia/ischemia and sarcomere diastolic-length was shortened. Transcriptome analysis revealed up-regulation of genes involving angiogenesis, extracellular-matrix, circadian-rhythm, oxidative stress, and hypoxia, whereas ion-channel transport and cardiac conduction were down-regulated. Indeed, progressive corrected QT prolongation, arrhythmias, and ischemic changes were noted in SCA mice before sudden death. Sudden cardiac death is common in humans with restrictive cardiomyopathies and long QT syndromes. Our findings may thus provide a unifying cardiac pathophysiology that explains the reported cardiac abnormalities and sudden death seen in humans with SCA.
On autopsy, a patient is found to have hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The patient’s family pursues genetic testing that shows a “likely pathogenic” variant for the condition on the basis of a study in an original research publication. Given the dominant inheritance of the condition and the risk of sudden cardiac death, other family members are tested for the genetic variant to determine their risk. Several family members test negative and are told that they are not at risk for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and sudden cardiac death, and those who test positive are told that they need to be regularly monitored for cardiomyopathy . . .
Survival after sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) remains low, and tools for improved prediction of patients at long-term risk for SCA are lacking. Alternative short-term approaches aimed at preemptive risk stratification and prevention are needed.
Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a leading cause of death in the United States and often occurs without previous cardiac symptoms. Lifetime risk for SCD and the influence of established risk factors on lifetime risks for SCD have not been estimated previously.
Ectopic heartbeats can trigger reentrant arrhythmias, leading to ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death. Such events have been attributed to perturbed Ca2+ handling in cardiac myocytes leading to spontaneous Ca2+ release and delayed afterdepolarizations (DADs). However, the ways in which perturbation of specific molecular mechanisms alters the probability of ectopic beats is not understood. We present a multiscale model of cardiac tissue incorporating a biophysically detailed three-dimensional model of the ventricular myocyte. This model reproduces realistic Ca2+ waves and DADs driven by stochastic Ca2+ release channel (RyR) gating and is used to study mechanisms of DAD variability. In agreement with previous experimental and modeling studies, key factors influencing the distribution of DAD amplitude and timing include cytosolic and sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ concentrations, inwardly rectifying potassium current (IK1) density, and gap junction conductance. The cardiac tissue model is used to investigate how random RyR gating gives rise to probabilistic triggered activity in a one-dimensional myocyte tissue model. A novel spatial-average filtering method for estimating the probability of extreme (i.e. rare, high-amplitude) stochastic events from a limited set of spontaneous Ca2+ release profiles is presented. These events occur when randomly organized clusters of cells exhibit synchronized, high amplitude Ca2+ release flux. It is shown how reduced IK1 density and gap junction coupling, as observed in heart failure, increase the probability of extreme DADs by multiple orders of magnitude. This method enables prediction of arrhythmia likelihood and its modulation by alterations of other cellular mechanisms.
Although several macrolide antibiotics are proarrhythmic and associated with an increased risk of sudden cardiac death, azithromycin is thought to have minimal cardiotoxicity. However, published reports of arrhythmias suggest that azithromycin may increase the risk of cardiovascular death.