Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine the extent of left ventricular (LV) involvement in individuals predisposed to developing arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C), and to investigate novel morphologic variants of ARVD/C.
Background: The discovery of desmosomal mutations associated with ARVD/C has led researchers to hypothesize equal right ventricular (RV) and LV affliction in the disease process.
Methods: Thirty-eight (age 30 +/- 17 years; 18 males) family members of 12 desmosomal mutation-carrying ARVD/C probands underwent genotyping and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR). The CMR investigators were blinded to clinical and genetic data.
Results: Twenty-five individuals had mutations in PKP2, DSP, and/or DSG2 genes. RV abnormalities were associated with the presence of mutation(s) and with disease severity determined by criteria (minor = 1; major = 2) points for ARVD/C diagnosis. The only LV abnormality detected, the presence of intramyocardial fat, was present in 4 individuals. Each of these individuals was a mutation carrier, whereas 1 had no previously described ARVD/C-related abnormality. On detailed CMR, a focal "crinkling" of the RV outflow tract and subtricuspid regions ("accordion sign") was observed in 60% of the mutation carriers and none of the noncarriers (p < 0.001). The sign was present in 0%, 37%, 71%, and 75% of individuals who met 1, 2, 3, and 4+ criteria points, respectively (p < 0.01).
Conclusions: Despite a possible LV involvement in ARVD/C, the overall LV structure and function are well preserved. Independent LV involvement is of rare occurrence. The accordion sign is a promising tool for early diagnosis of ARVD/C. Its diagnostic utility should be confirmed in larger cohorts.