Conduction abnormalities and anaesthesia

Luisa Santambrogio, Antonio Braschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Accurate identification of patients at risk for ventricular arrhythmias is critical to prevent sudden cardiac death. The perioperative period is usually regarded as one of risk for potential triggering conditions. This review focuses on the anaesthesiologic risk of inherited arrhythmias whose aetiology is a mutation in genes encoding cardiac ion channels in the absence of structural heart abnormalities. RECENT FINDINGS: Genetic analysis identifies the genes whose expressions generate ion channel and regulating or anchoring subunits; electrophysiology can study the role of each ion current during cardiac fibrillation and develop many tests for risk. There is, however, a great heterogeneity of clinical phenotype and many histological studies detecting structural heart alterations despite negative noninvasive evaluations. SUMMARY: For some ion channel diseases, a therapy has been established; for others, the therapy and risk stratification are still matters of concern, and it is necessary to evaluate the new tools and tests available. For the highly lethal complication of these 'channellopathies', anaesthesia should proceed with caution in the light of the characteristics of each arrhythmia to prevent complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Opinion in Anaesthesiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


  • Inherited arrhythmia
  • Ion channels
  • Sudden cardiac death
  • T-wave alternans
  • Ventricular fibrillation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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