Sudden Cardiac Death Differential Diagnoses

Updated: Apr 28, 2014
  • Author: Ali A Sovari, MD, FACP, FACC; Chief Editor: Jeffrey N Rottman, MD  more...
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Diagnostic Considerations

Other conditions to be considered in patients with suspected sudden cardiac death include arrhythmogenic RV dysplasia and Brugada syndrome.

Important considerations include the following:

  • Recognize and initiate early management of patients with ischemic heart disease. The importance of this cannot be overestimated, because approximately 80% of SCD cases can be attributed to ischemic heart disease.

  • Use appropriate medical therapy for ischemic heart disease (eg, beta-blockers).

  • It is very important to involve a specialist in cardiovascular disease in the care of patients who have had a cardiac arrest or have symptoms of ischemic heart disease, valvular disorders, or presentations with complex arrhythmias.

  • It is very important to educate patients about the consequences of noncompliance with medical therapy.

For patient education information, see the Heart Health Center and Healthy Living Center, as well as Chest Pain, Heart Rhythm Disorders, Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Attack, and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

Differential Diagnoses