Exploring Sudden Cardiac Death: A Comparative Dive into Human, Canine, and Feline Perspectives

Cardiovascular health is a universal concern, transcending species. The Veterinary Journal's August 2021 volume features an enlightening review authored by Celine Brugada-Terradellas, Pascal Smets, Arnaut Hellemans, and the eminent Professor Pedro Brugada. Hailing from Ghent University's small animal department and the University hospital in Brussels, this collaboration promises a unique blend of veterinary and human medical expertise. 

Professor Pedro Brugada's inclusion is a noteworthy triumph, given his global eminence in cardiovascular research and his pivotal role in identifying the Brugada syndrome. Renowned for his enthusiasm and dedication, Professor Brugada's life story adds a personal touch to this academic exploration. His insights, shared in an interview available online, offer a glimpse into his remarkable journey in medicine. 

The article delves into the comparative aspects of sudden cardiac death (SCD) across humans, dogs, and cats. While SCD is a leading cause of mortality in Western human populations, the scarcity of genetic mutation data in animals is evident. This scarcity presents an opportunity for collaborative research to bridge the knowledge gap and enhance our understanding of SCD in veterinary medicine. 

In the context of SCD, the article navigates through the prevalence, pathophysiology, and generic similarities in humans, dogs, and cats. Despite the parallel arrhythmogenic mechanisms, the article emphasizes the need for more research on genetic mutations in animals, a fertile ground for future collaborative efforts. 

A focal point of the review is the comparative analysis of various heart diseases contributing to SCD. Diseases such as dilated cardiomyopathy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy, and channelopathies are scrutinized in detail. The authors meticulously explore the prevalence and pathophysiological aspects of these conditions, drawing parallels and distinctions between human and veterinary contexts. 

Noteworthy inclusions in the disease spectrum are German shepherd inherited arrhythmias, catecholamine-dependent arrhythmias, and the rare occurrence of coronary artery disease (CAD) as a cause of SCD in dogs and cats. The article engages in a thought-provoking discussion on the rarity of CAD-induced SCD in veterinary cases, adding a layer of complexity to the comparative study. 

The review serves as a valuable resource for cardiologists and those in training, offering a comprehensive understanding of SCD across species. By highlighting the areas of commonality and divergence, the article lays the groundwork for future collaborative research. As we unlock the mysteries of sudden cardiac death, this comparative exploration marks a significant stride in advancing cardiovascular knowledge in both veterinary and human medicine. 

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