Over the last ten years, it has become increasingly obvious that sudden death represents the major challenge confronting cardiology in the last part of the XXth Century. Careful epidemiologic studies have established the magnitude of this overall important problem of public health. The frequent association of sudden death with coronary artery disease has been demonstrated. Some of the electrophysiologic mechanisms underlying lethal arrhythmias have been unveiled. In addition, clinical markers permitting identifica tion of high risk individuals have emerged. Finally, different studies have raised some hope as to the ability of therapeutic interventions to protect these patients against a premature and possibly evitable demise. Over the years, a sizable amount of new and relevant information, both basic and clinical, has become available. We felt therefore that a conference on sudden death might be timely. It was decided to organize a small gathering during which experts from different disciplines in cardiology could sit together in a quiet retreat to share their knowledge and discuss issues pertaining to research and therapy that might be of benefit to patients. The conference was held in Liege, on May 7, 8 and 9, 1979. This three day meeting in which re presentatives from seven different countries participated was extremely stimulating. The discussions were very lively and sometimes reflected the divergence of opinion which may persist on some topics.