Exploration of the precision of classifying sudden cardiac death: Implications for the interpretation of clinical trials
Death, Sudden, Cardiac
Even in a group of patients with an ICD, deaths classified as sudden cardiac frequently were not associated with ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation and were often noncardiac. It is possible to create a wide range of sudden cardiac death rates (more than fourfold) using the identical clinical database despite objective, prespecified criteria. Autopsy results frequently reveal noncardiac causes of clinical events simulating sudden cardiac death. ICD interrogation revealed that ICD discharges were often related to terminal arrhythmias incidental to the primary pathophysiological process leading to death.