Causes of sudden unexpected cardiac death in the first two decades of life

Julia Steinberger, Russell V. Lucas, Jesse E. Edwards, Jack L. Titus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Sudden, unexpected cardiac death in the age group 1 to 21 years usually is due to myocarditis, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, aortic valvar stenosis, and coronary arterial abnormalities. The hearts of 70 patients <21 years of age who died suddenly were reviewed. Twenty patients were <1 year of age and 50 were 1 to 21 years old. The cardiac findings were compared with those in 68 age-matched controls with known cardiac disease who did not die suddenly. Significant cardiac abnormalities were present in 13 (65%) of the 20 infants; 10 (50%) had anomalies of the aortic origin of the coronary arteries. Among the 50 older patients, cardiac abnormalities were found in 40 (80%), among whom coronary arterial anomalies existed in 12 (24%). Anomalies of aortic origin more frequently involved the left main than the right coronary artery in both groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)992-995
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number11
StatePublished - May 1 1996


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