Cardiovascular disease including sudden death, myocardial infarction, cardiac arrest, malignant arrhythmias and other cardiac causes is the major cause of death accounting for 43% of all-cause mortality among hemodialysis patients. In addition to increased traditional risk factors, hemodialysis patients also have a number of nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors, which may play a prominent role in the development of sudden death such as left ventricular hypertrophy, coronary artery disease, rapid electrolyte shifts, QT dispersion, sympathetic overactivity, calcium-phosphate deposition. The purpose of the present review was to critically review the current literature to summarize the following aspects: (1) the pathophysiological mechanism responsible for sudden death in hemodialysis patients, and (2) the prevention and management of sudden death in hemodialysis patients.

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