Most familial sudden cardiac death syndromes are associated with structural heart disease or 12-lead electrocardiographic abnormalities. Additionally, the utility of signal-averaged electrocardiograms in patients with familial sudden death syndromes has not been examined. We studied a kindred with sudden death to determine whether they could be classified into any of the previously described syndromes and whether an abnormal signal-averaged electrocardiogram is a marker for this trait. Surviving family members had normal 12-lead electrocardiograms and echocardiograms. Two of the patients who died from ventricular arrhythmias had normal hearts on autopsy. Two surviving family members had a clinical history of arrhythmic events; both had abnormal signal-averaged electrocardiograms and inducible ventricular arrhythmias during electrophysiologic studies. The other family members had normal signal-averaged electrocardiograms. This familial sudden death syndrome appears to be unique because the patients have anatomically normal hearts and normal 12-lead electrocardiograms. An abnormal signal-averaged electrocardiogram may be a marker for the sudden death trait.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine