Professor Sarkozy to head the first Belgian multidisciplinary clinic for ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death at UZ Brussel

Professor Sarkozy to head the first Belgian multidisciplinary clinic for ventricular tachycardia and sudden cardiac death at UZ Brussel

23 January 2023

Sudden cardiac death accounts for approximately 50% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease. In around 50% of the cases, it is the first clinical manifestation of heart disease. Abnormal heart rhythms called arrhythmias cause most sudden cardiac deaths. The causes vary by age. In older patients, chronic diseases such as silent coronary heart disease are often the cause. In patients under 50 years of age, hereditary factors such as non-coronary cardiomyopathy can cause sudden cardiac death. In 2007, UZ Brussel established an independent Heart Rhythm Management Center within its Cardiovascular cluster, dedicated to the treatment of complex arrhythmias. Within this center, Professor Sarkozy will head the multidisciplinary team focusing on the treatment of ventricular tachycardia and the screening of patients with a family history of sudden cardiac death. UZ Brussel is thus the first Belgian hospital to establish a Sudden Cardiac Death Unit, to be led by Professor Sarkozy, where the most critical patients will undergo treatment

Increased attention for the risk of sudden cardiac death

The UZ Brussel Heart Rhythm Management Center recently established a Sudden Cardiac Death Unit, grouping various experts, to offer patients better, individualised care. The clinic takes a multidisciplinary approach due to the complexity and often high risks involved in the treatment of these patients. Various experts from different disciplines work together in the clinic, including electrophysiologists, biomedical engineers and technicians, as well as experts in genetics, intensive care, anaesthesiologists, emergency physicians, advanced cardiac imaging, heart failure, cardiac surgeons… with the aim of adapting the monitoring of and care for each patient to his/her individual needs. This expertise will also be shared with all the partners within our hospital network and beyond.

The target group for this clinic consists of patients suffering from ventricular tachycardia, patients who have experienced sudden cardiac arrest or after resuscitation, and family members who require screening for a cardiac genetic predisposition for sudden death.

Professor Andrea Sarkozy to head the clinic for ventricular tachycardia and sudden death screening

Professor Andrea Sarkozy graduated from Semmelweis Medical University in Budapest (Hungary) in 1995, after which she went on to specialise in cardiology and clinical electrophysiology. From 2007 until 2013, she led the clinical electrophysiology programme of the UZ Brussel Heart Rhythm Management Center, where she completed her PhD on “Brugada syndrome, facts and controversies” under the supervision of Professor Pedro Brugada. She then led the Electrophysiology programme of the Department of Cardiology at UZA and was employed as assistant professor at the University of Antwerp.

Professor Sarkozy is an internationally recognised expert in cardiac electrophysiology, more specifically in the treatment of complex arrhythmia and inherited cardiac arrhythmias with catheter ablation.