Investigation on Sudden Unexpected Death in the Young (SUDY) in Europe: results of the European Heart Rhythm Association Survey

Elijah R. Behr (Coresponding Author), Chiara Scrocco, Arthur A.M. Wilde, Eloi Marijon, Lia Crotti, Konstantinos E. Iliodromitis, Carol A. Remme, Jedrzej Kosiuk, Irina Rudaka, Georgia Sarquella Brugada, Katie Frampton, Eric Schulze-Bahr, Kristine Jubele, Carlo de Asmundis, Nynke Hofman, Jacob Tfelt-Hansen, Serge Boveda, Giulio Conte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
13 Downloads (Pure)


The aims of this centre-based survey, promoted and disseminated by the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) was to investigate the current practice for the investigation of Sudden Unexplained Death in the Young (SUDY) amongst European countries. An online questionnaire composed of 21 questions was submitted to the EHRA Research Network, European Cardiac Arrhythmia Genetics (ECGen) Focus Group members, and European Reference Network GUARD-Heart healthcare partners. There were 81 respondents from 24 European countries. The majority (78%) worked in a dedicated clinic focusing on families with inherited cardiac conditions and/or SUDY or had easy access to a nearby one. On average, an autopsy was performed in 43% of SUDY cases. Macroscopic examination of the body and all organs were completed in 71% of cases undergoing autopsy, and expert cardiac examination in 32%. Post-mortem genetic testing was requested on average in 37% of Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome (SADS) cases, but not at all by 20% of survey respondents. Psychological support and bereavement counselling for SADS/SUDY families were available for ≤50% of participants. Whilst electrocardiogram (ECG) and echocardiography were largely employed to investigate SADS relatives, there was an inconsistent approach to the use of provocative testing with exercise ECG, sodium channel blocking drugs, and/or epinephrine and genetic testing. The survey highlighted a significant heterogeneity of service provision and variable adherence to current recommendations for the investigation of SUDY, partly attributable to the availability of dedicated units and specialist tests, genetic evaluation, and post-mortem examination.


  • Autopsy
  • European Heart Rhythm Association survey
  • Genetic testing
  • Inherited cardiac conditions
  • Provocation testing
  • Sudden Arrhythmic Death Syndrome
  • Sudden death
  • Sudden Unexplained Death in the Young

Field of Science*

  • 3.2 Clinical medicine
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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