Genetics of sudden cardiac death in children and young athletes

Georgia Sarquella-Brugada, Oscar Campuzano, Anna Iglesias, Josep Sánchez-Malagón, Myriam Guerra-Balic, Josep Brugada, Ramon Brugada

Research output: Indexed journal article Reviewpeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Sudden cardiac death is a rare but socially devastating event. The most common causes of sudden cardiac death are congenital electrical disorders and structural heart diseases. The majority of these diseases have an incomplete penetrance and variable expression; therefore, patients may be unaware of their illness. In several cases, physical activity can be the trigger for sudden cardiac death as first symptom. Our purpose is to review the causes of sudden cardiac death in sportive children and young adults and its genetic background. Symptomatic individuals often receive an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, the preventive treatment for sudden cardiac death in most of cases due to channelopathies, which can become a challenging option in young and active patients. The identification of one of these diseases in asymptomatic patients has similarly a great impact on their everyday life, especially on their ability to undertake competitive physical activities, and the requirement of prophylactic treatment. We review main causes of sudden cardiac death in relation to its genetics and diagnostic work-up.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-173
Number of pages15
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013


  • Adolescent
  • Cardiology
  • Exercise
  • Genetics
  • Infant
  • Sudden death


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