Incidence, risk assessment and prevention of sudden cardiac death in cardiomyopathies

Marija Polovina, Carsten Tschöpe, Giuseppe Rosano, Marco Metra, Filippo Crea, Wilfried Mullens, Johann Bauersachs, Karen Sliwa, Rudolf A. de Boer, Dimitrios Farmakis, Thomas Thum, Domenico Corrado, Antoni Bayes-Genis, Biykem Bozkurt, Gerasimos Filippatos, Andre Keren, Hadi Skouri, Brenda Moura, Maurizio Volterrani, Magdy AbdelhamidMilika Ašanin, Gordana Krljanac, Milenko Tomić, Gianluigi Savarese, Marianna Adamo, Yuri Lopatin, Ovidiu Chioncel, Andrew J.S. Coats, Petar M. Seferović*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlePopular

1 Citation (Scopus)


Cardiomyopathies are a significant contributor to cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, mainly due to the development of heart failure and increased risk of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Despite improvement in survival with contemporary treatment, SCD remains an important cause of mortality in cardiomyopathies. It occurs at a rate ranging between 0.15% and 0.7% per year (depending on the cardiomyopathy), which significantly surpasses SCD incidence in the age- and sex-matched general population. The risk of SCD is affected by multiple factors including the aetiology, genetic basis, age, sex, physical exertion, the extent of myocardial disease severity, conduction system abnormalities, and electrical instability, as measured by various metrics. Over the past decades, the knowledge on the mechanisms and risk factors for SCD has substantially improved, allowing for a better-informed risk stratification. However, unresolved issues still challenge the guidance of SCD prevention in patients with cardiomyopathies. In this review, we aim to provide an in-depth discussion of the contemporary concepts pertinent to understanding the burden, risk assessment and prevention of SCD in cardiomyopathies (dilated, non-dilated left ventricular, hypertrophic, arrhythmogenic right ventricular, and restrictive). The review first focuses on SCD incidence in cardiomyopathies and then summarizes established and emerging risk factors for life-threatening arrhythmias/SCD. Finally, it discusses validated approaches to the risk assessment and evidence-based measures for SCD prevention in cardiomyopathies, pointing to the gaps in evidence and areas of uncertainties that merit future clarification.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2144-2163
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Heart Failure
Issue number12
Early online date31 Oct 2023
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

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© 2023 European Society of Cardiology.


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