What causes sudden cardiac death in Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome with AF?

Updated: Jan 08, 2017
  • Author: Christopher R Ellis, MD, FACC, FHRS; Chief Editor: Mikhael F El-Chami, MD  more...
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Answer

AF presents a potentially serious risk. It typically has a cycle length of 120-200 ms or 300-500 bpm. Atrial flutter is typically at a cycle length of 200 ms or 300 bpm. At rapidly conducted rates (ie, a rate faster than 250 bpm or an AP refractory period shorter than 240 ms), the risk of sudden death occurs as a result of potential conversion from rapid AF to VF. However, such a phenomenon is uncommon, occurring at an estimated frequency of about less than 0.1%.


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