Cardiology pp 467-471 | Cite as

Neural Factors in Sudden Death

  • Peter J. Schwartz


To understand the relationship between the nervous system and ventricular fibrillation, the leading cause of sudden death, is a key factor to comprehend the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms, to establish rational preventive measures, and to improve the early identification of high risk patients. Considerable progress has been made during the last decade1,2,3 and some of the main points will be mentioned here, including the problem of adequate animal models for sudden death, the role of psychologic stress, of the cardiac sympathetic nerves and of the vagi, and the potential for autonomic reflexes to be used for the identification of high risk subgroups.


Sudden Death Sudden Cardiac Death Ventricular Fibrillation Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia Exercise Stress Test 
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    P. J. Schwartz, A. M. Brown, A. Malliani, and A. Zanchetti, “Neural Mechanisms in Cardiac Arrhythmias,” Raven Press, New York (1978).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    B. Lown, Cardiovascular collapse and sudden cardiac death, in: “Heart Disease,” E. Braunwald, ed., W. B. Saunders, Philadelphia (1980).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
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    P. J. Schwartz, Sympathetic imbalance and cardiac arrhythmias, in: “Nervous control of Cardiovascular Function,” W. C. Randall, ed., Oxford University Press, in press (1982).Google Scholar
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    G. E. Billman, P. J. Schwartz, and H. L. Stone, Baroreceptor reflex control of heart rate: a predictor of sudden cardiac death, Circulation 66: in press (1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter J. Schwartz
    • 1
  1. 1.Centro di Fisiologia Clinica e Ipertensione Ospedale MaggioreUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

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