Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF) is diagnosed when known causes of ventricular fibrillation have been excluded. Some patients have a genetic mutation that may underly the arrhythmia.


Indications for genetic testing of a patient with IVF:

(1) other causes of ventricular fibrillation have been excluded

(2) occurrence at a young age

(3) occurrence while feeling strong emotions

(4) occurrence triggered by an auditory stimulus

(5) occurrence during rest or while exercising

(6) strong family history of premature sudden death, unexplained cardiac arrest or ventricular fibrillation


Issues to consider before performing genetic testing of IVF:

(1) the number of genes to be screened (usually multiple).

(2) the cost of testing

(3) the type of testing performed (which may give false negative results)

(4) the number of people to be screened


When considering genetic testing:

(1) use clinical findings to narrow the list of genes to screen as much as possible

(2) avoid testing a large number of family members until after a mutation has been found


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