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Pathogenesis of ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure and cardiomyopathy

Philip J Podrid, MD, FACC
Section Editors
Wilson S Colucci, MD
Brian Olshansky, MD
Deputy Editor
Brian C Downey, MD, FACC


Both atrial and ventricular arrhythmias are common in patients with heart failure (HF) and cardiomyopathy, regardless of underlying etiology [1]. They can cause symptoms, morbidity (such as stroke due to embolization with atrial fibrillation), and may be responsible for sudden cardiac death (SCD).

The pathogenesis of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with HF and cardiomyopathy will be reviewed here. The indications for and methods of treatment of ventricular arrhythmias and of atrial fibrillation in these patients are discussed separately. (See "Ventricular arrhythmias in heart failure and cardiomyopathy" and "The management of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure".)


There are multiple factors responsible for the frequency of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with heart failure (HF) and cardiomyopathy. These include:

Underlying structural disease

Mechanical factors

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Jun 07, 2017.
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