What Have We Learned from Stored Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Electrocardiograms about the Mechanism of Sudden Death?

  • B. D. Gonska
  • A. Schaumann
  • S. Purrer
Conference paper


The prevention of sudden cardiac death is an unsolved problem in modern cardiology. It is estimated that about 200 000–400 000 people in the United States and about 90 000 in Germany die as a result of sudden cardiac death per year (1,2). First insights into the electrical events causing sudden death were reported by MacWilliams in 1889 (3) and Lewis in 1915 (4), who found an association between ventricular fibrillation (VF) and sudden cardiac death. Large-scale epidemiologic studies revealed that ventricular tachyarrhythmias contribute in about 80% and bradyarrhythmias in about 20% of cases to this serious clinical event (5,6).


Ventricular Tachycardia Sudden Cardiac Death Ventricular Fibrillation Ventricular Tachyarrhythmia Nonsustained Ventricular Tachycardia 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia, Milano 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. D. Gonska
    • 1
  • A. Schaumann
    • 1
  • S. Purrer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CardiologyUniversity Hospital GöttingenGöttingenGermany

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