Author(s): Nademanee K, Veerakul G, Nimmannit S, Chaowakul V, Bhuripanyo K,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Between 1981 and 1988, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a very high incidence of sudden death among young male Southeast Asians who died unexpectedly during sleep. The pattern of death has long been prevalent in Southeast Asia. We carried out a study to identify the clinical markers for patients at high risk of developing sudden unexplained death syndrome (SUDS) and long-term outcomes. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied 27 Thai men (mean age, 39.7+/-11 years) referred because they had cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation, usually occurring at night while asleep (n=17), or were suspected to have had symptoms similar to the clinical presentation of SUDS (n=10). We performed cardiac testing, including EPS and cardiac catheterization. The patients were then followed at approximately 3-month intervals; our primary end points were death, ventricular fibrillation, or cardiac arrest. A distinct ECG abnormality divided our patients who had no structural heart disease (except 3 patients with mild left ventricular hypertrophy) into two groups: group 1 (n=16) patients had right bundle-branch block and ST-segment elevation in V1 through V3, and group 2 (n=11) had a normal ECG. Group 1 patients had well-defined electrophysiological abnormalities: group 1 had an abnormally prolonged His-Purkinje conduction time (HV interval, 63+/-11 versus 49+/-6 ms; P=.007). Group 1 had a higher incidence of inducible ventricular fibrillation (93\% for group 1 versus 11\% for group 2; P=.0002) and a positive signal-averaged ECG (92\% for group 1 versus 11\% for group 2; P=.002), which was associated with a higher incidence of ventricular fibrillation or death (P=.047). The life-table analysis showed that the group 1 patients had a much greater risk of dying suddenly (P=.05). CONCLUSIONS: Right bundle-branch block and precordial injury pattern in V1 through V3 is common in SUDS patients and represents an arrhythmogenic marker that identifies patients who face an inordinate risk of ventricular fibrillation or sudden death.
This article was published in Circulation
and referenced in Journal of Bioequivalence & Bioavailability