Management of a rare case of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia in pregnancy: a case report

J Med Case Rep. 2011 Jul 10;5:300. doi: 10.1186/1752-1947-5-300.


Introduction: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia is a heritable disease of the heart muscle characterized by fibrofatty degeneration of cardiomyocytes. Patients present with ventricular arrhythmias or congestive heart failure, and sometimes sudden cardiac death occurs. Prenatal diagnosis has become possible with the detection of mutations, but, to the best of our knowledge, no case of prenatal diagnosis has been reported previously. There is little information about the management of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia in pregnancy, and the preferred mode of delivery is not certain; therefore, we present the case of a patient with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia and discuss the prenatal diagnosis, patient management and prognosis in pregnancy.

Case presentation: A 26-year-old Caucasian woman who presented to our hospital with heart palpitations was diagnosed with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, and, after three years of follow up with anti-arrhythmic drugs, she wanted to conceive. During pregnancy, she ceased taking her medication. She tolerated pregnancy very well but her cardiac symptoms recurred after her 30th week of pregnancy. She delivered a baby via cesarean section under general anesthesia in her 38th week of pregnancy. She was discharged without any medications and continued lactation for six months.

Conclusion: Patients with mild to moderate arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia tolerate pregnancy and breastfeeding very well, but patients with end-stage arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia should be discouraged from conception.