Genetic variants associated with ventricular fibrillation (VF) ― uncoordinated contractions of the ventricles in the heart ― during myocardial infarction are reported this week in Nature Genetics. This suggests new pathways that may be involved in ventricular fibrillation and sudden cardiac death.
VF occurring during an acute myocardial infarction is one of the leading causes of cardiac-related and overall mortality. Connie Bezzina and colleagues report a genome-wide association study for susceptibility to ventricular fibrillation in 972 individuals with a first time acute myocardial infarction. They replicated these results in additional studies including 146 out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients that had confirmed myocardial infarction and VF when admitted to the hospital, and 391 individuals with a history of myocardial infarction. Bezzina and colleagues identify a genomic locus associated with VF in myocardial infarction that has not previously been implicated in cardiac related traits.