Cardiac Arrest Cardiac Death Cardiology Physiotherapy

Common Causes of Sudden Cardiac Death

In this article we will discuss the Common Causes of Sudden Cardiac Death

In this article, we will discuss the Common Causes of Sudden Cardiac Death. So, let’s get started.


1. Coronary artery diseases (80%)

  • Myocardial ischemia
  • Acute MI or healed MI
  • Previous MI with myocardial scarring
  • Anomalous coronary artery anatomy

2. Myocardial diseases

  • Ventricular hypertrophy, e.g. LVH, RVH, CHF
  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, e.g. obstructive and nonobstructive
  • Dilated cardiomyopathy
  • Inflammatory or infiltrative diseases, e.g. myocarditis, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia

3. Valvular heart diseases

  • Aortic stenosis/regurgitation
  • Mitral valve prolapse
  • Endocarditis

4. Congenital heart diseases

  • Stenotic lesions (aortic or pulmonary)
  • Eisenmenger’s syndrome
  • Postoperative repair of Fallot’s tetralogy

5. Nonstructural heart disease (e.g. electrophysiological abnormalities)

  • Prolonged QT syndrome (congenital or acquired)
  • Brugada syndrome. It is characterised by a defect in sodium channels function and an abnormal ECG (RBBB and ST elevation V1 and V2 without prolongation of QT interval)
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome (Kent bundle conduction)
  • Adverse drug reactions leading to torsade de pointes
  • Electrolyte disturbances (severe hypokalemia)
  • Acid-base disturbance, e.g. severe acidosis

6. Miscellaneous

  • Massive pulmonary embolism, air embolism
  • Aortic dissection
  • Cafe coronary

Potentially reversible causes of cardiac arrest

  • Hypovolemia
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypo or hyperkalemia
  • Hypothermia
  • Thromboembolism
  • Tension pneumothorax
  • Tamponade
  • Toxic disturbance or therapeutic disturbances

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