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Catastrophic Sudden Cardiac Death. Are there Lessons to be Learnt?

Background: Sudden cardiac death is a catastrophic event which leads to loss of young and middle-aged population with dire consequences. Sometimes, a careful history, physical examination and most importantly electrocardiogram (ECG) can help in suspecting the common causes in young population like underlying channelopathies and cardiomyopathies which can further be diagnosed using echocardiography, cardiac MRI and in some cases genetic tests.

Case summary: A 33-year-old male presented with sycope and ventricular tachycardia leading to death. This patient was diagnosed to have Arrythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) on post mortem pathological examination with features of fatty infiltration and thinning of right ventricular myocardium. Furthermore, on histologically fatty infiltration with inflammatory infiltrates were visualized.

Discussion: Clinical awareness amongst physicians about cardiomyopathies especially ARVD with its subtle yet suggestive ECG changes is the need of the hour. ARVD is a rare disease and can be diagnosed with certainty by analyzing ECG and adding imaging to it. When diagnosed cases are treated appropriately, at least a few cases of sudden cardiac death can be averted.

Author(s): Dhiraj Kumar*, Girish Sabnis, Dheeraj More, Hetan Shah, Charan Lanjewar, Prafulla Kerkar, Rohit Shriwastav and Pradeep Vaideeshwar

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