Sudden cardiac death (SCD) is a sudden, unexpected death that is caused by the loss of heart function. While SCD affects many patients suffering from coronary artery diseases (CAD) and heart failure (HF), a considerable number of SCD events occur in asymptomatic individuals. Certain risk factors for SCD have been identified and incorporated in different clinical scores, however, risk stratification using such algorithms is only useful for health management rather than for early detection and prediction of future SCD events in high-risk individuals. In this review, we discuss different molecular biomarkers that are used for early detection of SCD. This includes genetic biomarkers, where the majority of them are genomic variants for genes that encode for ion channels. Meanwhile, protein biomarkers often denote proteins that play roles in pathophysiological processes that lead to CAD and HF, notably (i) atherosclerosis that involves oxidative stress and inflammation, as well as (ii) cardiac tissue damage that involves neurohormonal and hemodynamic regulation and myocardial stress. Finally, we outline existing challenges and future directions including the use of OMICS strategy for biomarker discovery and the multimarker panels.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.