Yield of serial evaluation in at-risk family members of patients with ARVD/C

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2014 Jul 22;64(3):293-301. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2014.04.044.


Background: Incomplete penetrance and variable expressivity of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) complicate family screening.

Objectives: The objective of the present study was to determine the optimal approach to longitudinal follow-up regarding: 1) screening interval; and 2) testing strategy in at-risk relatives of ARVD/C patients.

Methods: We included 117 relatives (45% male, age 33.3 ± 16.3 years) from 64 families who were at risk of developing ARVD/C by virtue of their familial predisposition (72% mutation carriers [92% plakophilin-2]; 28% first-degree relatives of a mutation-negative proband). Subjects were evaluated by electrocardiography (ECG), Holter monitoring, signal-averaged ECG, and cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR). Disease progression was defined as the development of a new criterion by the 2010 Task Force Criteria (not the "Hamid criteria") at last follow-up that was absent at enrollment.

Results: At first evaluation, 43 subjects (37%) fulfilled an ARVD/C diagnosis according to the 2010 Task Force Criteria. Among the remaining 74 subjects (63%), 11 of 37 (30%) with complete re-evaluation experienced disease progression during 4.1 ± 2.3 years of follow-up. Electrical progression (n = 10 [27%], including by ECG [14%], Holter monitoring [11%], or signal-averaged ECG [14%]) was more frequently observed than structural progression (n = 1 [3%] on CMR). All 5 patients (14%) with clinical ARVD/C diagnosis at last follow-up had an abnormal ECG or Holter monitor recording, and the only patient with an abnormal CMR already had an abnormal ECG at enrollment.

Conclusions: Over a mean follow-up of 4 years, our study showed that: 1) almost one-third of at-risk relatives have electrical progression; 2) structural progression is rare; and 3) electrical abnormalities precede detectable structural changes. This information could be valuable in determining family screening protocols.

Keywords: cardiomyopathy; electrocardiography; magnetic resonance imaging; progression; screening.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / genetics*
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia / physiopathology
  • Disease Progression*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Young Adult