The Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome and the Risk of Sudden Death

  • Michael H. Gollob
  • Rafeeq Samie
  • David H. Birnie
  • Martin S. Green
  • Robert M. Gow


Over 80 years ago, Drs. Wolff, Parkinson and White described the ECG characteristics and arrhythmia vulnerability of a young cohort of individuals. The condition would soon bear their names, and through subsequent decades of clinical, anatomical and physiological observations, the Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome fascinated the cardiology field.

In more recent years, the condition has become recognized as a potential cause of sudden cardiac death in previously well individuals. The genetic basis of a complex form of Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome associated with metabolic storage disease has now been recognized. Lastly, the advent of catheter ablation therapy in the last 20 years has allowed for cure of this condition. This chapter will review the history of this common condition, the variants in anatomy and physiology, genetics, and association with sudden cardiac death.


WPW Sudden death PRKAG2 Preexcitation Re-entry arrhythmia 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael H. Gollob
    • 1
  • Rafeeq Samie
    • 2
  • David H. Birnie
    • 2
  • Martin S. Green
    • 2
  • Robert M. Gow
    • 3
  1. 1.Arrhythmia Research Laboratory, Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineUniversity of Ottawa Heart InstituteOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineUniversity of Ottawa Heart InstituteOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Division of Cardiology, Department of MedicineChildren’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of OttawaOttawaCanada

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