Sudden Cardiac Death


Anchor lead: Improved understanding of heart pathology may help young people avoid sudden cardiac death, Elizabeth Tracey reports

We’ve all heard the stories: a young athlete collapses on the playing field and dies. Pathology reveals a heart problem called arrhythmogenic cardiomyopathy, which is inherited. Stephen Chelko, a cardiology researcher at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, reveal the problem is both electrical and inflammatory in a recent study. If identified, treatment includes an implanted cardiac defibrillator or ICD, and medicine.

Chelko: There is now a drug that is FDA approved, clinically available, that’s safe that we could potentially be giving our patients, on top of beta blockers and an ICD implant, that hopefully will prevent this inflammatory phase. If you have too much inflammation your cells will die. We’re hoping that ultimately there’s a drug that can treat the underlying aberrant cell signaling. Besides the electrical issues going on we want to stop all the downstream progression.  :29

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.