Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia clinical presentation and diagnostic evaluation: results from the North American Multidisciplinary Study

Heart Rhythm. 2009 Jul;6(7):984-92. doi: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2009.03.013. Epub 2009 Mar 11.


Background: Prior reports on patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia (ARVC/D) focused on individuals with advanced forms of the disease. Data on the diagnostic performance of various testing modalities in newly identified individuals suspected of having ARVC/D are limited.

Objective: The purpose of the Multidisciplinary Study of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy/Dysplasia was to study the clinical characteristics and diagnostic evaluation of a large group of patients newly identified with ARVC/D.

Methods: A total of 108 newly diagnosed patients with suspected ARVC/D were prospectively enrolled in the United States and Canada. The patients underwent noninvasive and invasive tests using standardized protocols that initially were interpreted by the enrolling center and adjudicated by blind analysis in six core laboratories. Patients were followed for a mean of 27 +/- 16 months (range 0.2-63 months).

Results: The clinical profile of these newly diagnosed patients differs from the profile of reported patients with more advanced disease. There was considerable difference in the initial and final classification of the presence of ARVC/D after the diagnostic tests were evaluated by the core laboratories. Final clinical diagnosis was 73 affected, 28 borderline, and 7 unaffected. Individual tests agreed with the final diagnosis in 50% to 70% of the 73 patients with a final classification of affected.

Conclusion: The clinical profile of 108 newly diagnosed probands with suspected ARVC/D indicates that a combination of diagnostic tests is needed to evaluate the presence of right ventricular structural, functional, and electrical abnormalities. Echocardiography, right ventricular angiography, signal-averaged ECG, and Holter monitoring provide optimal clinical evaluation of patients suspected of ARVC/D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Canada
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrocardiography, Ambulatory
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • United States
  • Young Adult