Arrhythmia Death Syndrome
CRY is a national SADS charity which offers support and information to families who have suffered a
loss to SADS. CRY also has a special
What is SADS?
the context of cardiology, the term SADS refers to Sudden Arrhythmia
Death Syndrome. However,
the media sometimes refers to SADS as 'Sudden Adult Death Syndrome';
or use SADS for referring to the more general notion of a sudden
death of an apparently fit and healthy young person.
about 1 in every 20 cases of
cardiac death and up to 1 in 5 young sudden cardiac deaths, no definite
cause of death can be found, even after drugs have been excluded and an
expert cardiac pathologist has examined the heart for structural
abnormalities. In such cases, the death will be attributed to sudden
arrhythmia death syndrome (SADS).
is thought that cot death - sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS - may be
partly due to the same causes as SADS.
conditions responsible for SADS cause a cardiac arrest by bringing on a
ventricular arrhythmia, even though the person has no disease affecting the
structure of the heart.
channelopathies / arrhythmia syndromes are a group of relatively rare
diseases that affect the electrical functioning of the heart without
affecting the heart's structure. They are often the cause of a SADS
death. There are several different types of ion channelopathies,
Long QT syndrome
PVT (catecholaminergic polymorphic
PCCD (progressive cardiac conduction defect)
Short QT syndrome
Early repolarisation syndrome
Sodium channel disease
Familial atrial fibrillation
Less frequently, SADS can be caused by other
cardiac abnormalities, such as extra electrical pathways or even subtle
heart muscle disease (cardiomyopathies).