Introduction to Part Five: Screening for Risk of Sudden Cardiac Death
Sudden cardiac death a clinical catastrophe that appears unpredictable in individual cases occurs in many clinical subsets described in this section of the book. The difficulty in identifying patients at increased risk derives from the reciprocal relationship between the risk in different patient subsets and the size of the subset. Screening methods must be evaluated from the points of view of sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values in the relevant subsets as well as from the point of view of cost effectiveness. Receiver operator characteristic curves may be used to compare screening methodologies and in deciding what decision criterion (cut-off) to be used.