Electrocardiographic comparison of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy and right ventricular outflow tract tachycardia

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2011 Aug 16;58(8):831-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2011.05.017.


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether electrocardiographic characteristics of ventricular arrhythmias distinguish patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) from those with right ventricular outflow tract tachycardia (RVOT-VT).

Background: Ventricular arrhythmias in RVOT-VT and ARVD/C-VT patients can share a left bundle branch block/inferior axis morphology.

Methods: We compared the electrocardiographic morphology of ventricular tachycardia or premature ventricular contractions with left bundle branch block/inferior axis pattern in 16 ARVD/C patients with that in 42 RVOT-VT patients.

Results: ARVD/C patients had a significantly longer mean QRS duration in lead I (150 ± 31 ms vs. 123 ± 34 ms, p = 0.006), more often exhibited a precordial transition in lead V(6) (3 of 17 [18%] vs. 0 of 42 [0%] with RVOT-VT, p = 0.005), and more often had at least 1 lead with notching (11 of 17 [65%] vs. 9 of 42 [21%], p = 0.001). The most sensitive characteristics for the detection of ARVD/C were a QRS duration in lead I of ≥120 ms (88% sensitivity, 91% negative predictive value). QRS transition at V(6) was most specific at 100% (100% positive predictive value, 77% negative predictive value). The presence of notching on any QRS complex had 79% sensitivity and 65% specificity of (55% positive predictive value, 85% negative predictive value). In multivariate analysis, QRS duration in lead I of ≥120 ms (odds ratio [OR]: 20.4, p = 0.034), earliest onset QRS in lead V(1) (OR: 17.0, p = 0.022), QRS notching (OR: 7.7, p = 0.018), and a transition of V(5) or later (OR: 7.0, p = 0.030) each predicted the presence of ARVD/C.

Conclusions: Several electrocardiographic criteria can help distinguish right ventricular outflow tract arrhythmias originating from ARVD/C compared with RVOT-VT patients.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / physiopathology*
  • Bundle-Branch Block / physiopathology
  • Electrocardiography*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Outflow Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Outflow Obstruction / physiopathology*
  • Ventricular Premature Complexes / physiopathology