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      Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and Sudden Cardiac Death

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          Abstract

          Every year, individuals with no history of heart disease succumb to sudden cardiac death (SCD). Pathologic examination of the hearts usually reveals various forms of heart disease as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or coronary artery disease. In other cases, however, there is no obvious structural heart disease, and it is possible that some of these individuals died because of a cardiac arrhythmia involving an accessory pathway. If this were the case, the most likely scenario would be onset of atrioventricular reciprocating tachycardia (AVRT), degeneration of the AVRT into atrial fibrillation with a rapid ventricular response over the accessory pathway, and subsequent death caused by the development of ventricular fibrillation. Although these events have been documented, albeit rarely, during intracardiac electrophysiologic studies, in reality very little is known about the natural history of asymptomatic and untreated patients with Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome. In fact, SCD in a previously asymptomatic patient with WPW syndrome is probably relatively rare. Whether asymptomatic WPW patients should undergo electrophysiologic or pharmacologic testing to determine their ‘potential’ to develop serious cardiac arrhythmias is controversial. The present paucity of data concerning the natural history of WPW syndrome in asymptomatic patients militates against successful identification of those patients who are at risk for sudden death. Long-term prospective studies are necessary to clarify which asymptomatic patients with WPW syndrome require treatment.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          CRD
          Cardiology
          10.1159/issn.0008-6312
          Cardiology
          S. Karger AG
          978-3-8055-4629-4
          978-3-318-01764-9
          0008-6312
          1421-9751
          1987
          1987
          11 November 2008
          : 74
          : Suppl 2
          : 67-71
          Affiliations
          Clinical Electrophysiology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, N.C., USA
          Article
          174288 Cardiology 1987;74:67–71
          10.1159/000174288
          3621280
          © 1987 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

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          Pages: 5
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