Idiopathic Ventricular Fibrillation

How to Cite This Chapter: Acosta Velez JG, Amit G, Hernández Ruiz EA, Trusz-Gluza M, Leśniak W. Idiopathic Ventricular Fibrillation. McMaster Textbook of Internal Medicine. Kraków: Medycyna Praktyczna. Accessed July 07, 2020.
Last Updated: December 10, 2018
Last Reviewed: August 5, 2019
Chapter Information

Definition, EtiologyTop

Idiopathic ventricular fibrillation (IVF) is a spontaneous ventricular fibrillation in individuals without an identified structural heart disease, genetic arrhythmic disorder, or other obvious cause (eg, drug overdose). IVF is responsible for ~5% of cases of cardiac arrest.


Exclude structural heart disease on the basis of history (including family history), physical examination, laboratory studies, electrocardiography, and echocardiography. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging may be a useful tool to rule out subtle structural disease. Ischemic cardiomyopathy should be excluded taking into consideration the clinical presentation and risk factors (consider exercise testing, coronary computed tomography scan, and cardiac catheterization with coronary angiography). Exclude the administration of drugs causing long-QT syndrome, electrolyte disturbances, alcohol, and drugs of abuse. Electrophysiologic study is of no prognostic value and is not routinely recommended.


Placement of an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) is recommended in all survivors.

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