Many factors have been implicated in SIDS cases including environmental influences such as sleeping arrangements and smoking. Most recently, cardiac abnormalities have been hypothesised to play a role in some cases, particularly the primary genetic arrhythmogenic disorders such as familial long QT syndrome (LQTS). Both post-mortem and clinical studies of SIDS cases have provided supporting evidence for the involvement of cardiac genetic disorders in SIDS. This review provides a summary of this evidence focussing particularly on the primary hypothesis related to underlying familial LQTS. In addition, the current literature relating to other cardiac genetic conditions such as Brugada syndrome (BrS) and structural heart diseases such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is briefly presented. Finally, the implications of a possible cardiac genetic cause of SIDS is discussed with reference to the need for genetic testing in SIDS cases and subsequent clinical and genetic testing in family members.
Paediatric Respisatory Reviews, 2014. 15: 301-306