Ventricular electrical instability

Markers and trigger mechanisms
  • Günter Breithardt
  • Martin Borggrefe
  • Antoni Martínez-Rubio
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 110)


The underlying arrhythmia in most patients who die suddenly outside the hospital is some type of ventricular tachyarrhythmia, mostly monomorphic ventricular tachycardia degenerating into ventricular fibrillation. This has been shown in a multitude of long-ECG recordings in patients who died suddenly [1, 2]. In only a minority of patients, sudden cardiac death is due to bradyarrhythmias. Bayés de Luna et al. reported on 61 patients from the literature who died from ventricular fibrillation during ambulatory long-term ECG recording [1]. Though ventricular fibrillation was the initial rhythm in 28% of cases, the initial rhythm was a monomorphic ventricular tachycardia subsequently degenerating into ventricular fibrillation in 69% of cases. In the remaining 3% of cases, ventricular flutter degenerated into ventricular fibrillation. These initiating ventricular tachycardias frequently had a rate below 300 bpm [2].


Ventricular Tachycardia Ventricular Arrhythmia Sudden Cardiac Death Ventricular Fibrillation Previous Myocardial Infarction 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Günter Breithardt
  • Martin Borggrefe
  • Antoni Martínez-Rubio

There are no affiliations available

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