Document Type : Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Cardiovascular Research Center AND Department of Cardiovascular Disease, Loghman Hakim Hospital, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Resident, School of Medicine, Loghman Hakim Hospital, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor, Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to determine characteristics of patients with sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) and/or sudden cardiac death (SCD). We need an effective risk stratification method for SCD in patients without low left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). METHODS: The study population of this cross-sectional study consisted of 241 patients with SCA or SCD who were admitted to an academic hospital, in Tehran, Iran, from 2011 through 2012. SCD was defined as unexpected death from cardiac causes, heralded by abrupt loss of consciousness within one hour of the onset of acute changes in cardiovascular status, or an unobserved death in which the patient was seen and known to be doing well within the previous 24 hours. Survivors of aborted SCD were also included in the study. Clinical and paraclinical characteristics as well as emergency department complications of patients were recorded. RESULTS: The mean age of population was 66.0 ± 16.5 (17 to 90 years). Among the patients, 166 (68.9 %) were male, 50 (20.7%) were smoker, 77 (32.0%) had hypertension, 47 (19.5%) had diabetes mellitus, 21 (8.7%) had hyperlipidemia, and 32 (13.3%) had renal insufficiency. According to New York Health Association (NYHA) functional class, 31 (12.9%) patients were asymptomatic, 42 (17.4) and 99 (41.1%) subjects were in NYHA I and II, respectively and only 69 (28.6%) patients were in NYHA III or IV. In this study, presenting arrhythmia was pulseless electrical activity or asystole which was observed in 130 (53.9%) subjects. Ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) was seen in 53 (22%) patients. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in emergency room was successful only in 46 (19.1%) subjects. CONCLUSION: Low ejection fraction (EF) may be an independent predictor of sudden cardiac death in patients, but it is not enough. While implantable cardioverter defibrillators can save lives, we are lacking effective risk stratification and prevention methods for the majority of patients without low EF who will experience SCD.   Keywords: Death, Sudden Cardiac Arrest, Sudden Cardiac Death 

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