A University of Adelaide-led team of researchers has found a link between sudden cardiac death (when the heart suddenly stops beating) and a common heart condition known as mitral valve prolapse that affects around 12 in every 1000 people worldwide.
“The research has however enabled us to identify a number of consistent features found in cases of sudden cardiac death where the patient had mitral valve prolapse.
In response to these findings, the researchers, which include researchers and cardiologists from the University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, University of New South Wales and University of Queensland, are in the process of creating a prospective registry in Australia for patients with mitral valve prolapse, resuscitated cardiac arrest and reported sudden cardiac death.
“With one in five sudden cardiac deaths (SDC) occurring in people with otherwise normal hearts, this research provides insight into the need for further investigation of patients with mitral valve prolapse and high-risk conditions for serious and life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias,” says Professor Prash Sanders, Director, Centre for Heart Rhythm Disorders at the University of Adelaide.
“This research is a prime example of how cross-institutional collaboration has resulted in better patient outcomes.”
Image caption: Dr Rajiv Mahajan, The University of Adelaide