Depolarization versus repolarization abnormality underlying
inferolateral J wave syndromes - new concepts in sudden cardiac
death with apparently normal hearts
Early repolarization indicates a distinct electrocardiographic phenotype affecting the junction between the QRS complex and the ST segment in inferolateral leads (inferolateral J-Wave Syndromes). It has been considered a benign electrocardiographic variant for decades, but recent clinical studies have demonstrated its arrhythmogenicity in a small subset, supported by experimental studies showing transmural dispersion of repolarization. Here, we review the current knowledge and the issues of risk stratification which limit clinical management. In addition we report on new mapping data of patients refractory to pharmacological treatment using high-density electrogram mapping at the time of inscription of J-wave. These data demonstrate that distinct substrates, delayed depolarization, and abnormal early repolarization, underlie inferolateral J-wave syndromes, with significant implications. Finally, based on these data, we propose a new simplified mechanistic classification of sudden cardiac deaths without apparent structural heart disease.
This work was supported by the National Research Agency (ANR-10-IAHU04-LIRYC), the European Research Council (FP7/2007-2013 grant agreement number 322886–SYMPHONY) and the Leducq-Foundation (RHYTHM network). The authors acknowledge a research grant from Medtronic.
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