Background: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is associated with ventricular arrhythmias (VA) and sudden cardiac death (SCD). A model was recently developed to predict incident sustained VA in patients with ARVC. However, since this outcome may overestimate the risk for SCD, we aimed to specifically predict life-threatening VA (LTVA) as a closer surrogate for SCD.
Methods: We assembled a retrospective cohort of definite ARVC cases from 15 centers in North America and Europe. Association of 8 prespecified clinical predictors with LTVA (SCD, aborted SCD, sustained, or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator treated ventricular tachycardia >250 beats per minute) in follow-up was assessed by Cox regression with backward selection. Candidate variables included age, sex, prior sustained VA (≥30s, hemodynamically unstable, or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator treated ventricular tachycardia; or aborted SCD), syncope, 24-hour premature ventricular complexes count, the number of anterior and inferior leads with T-wave inversion, left and right ventricular ejection fraction. The resulting model was internally validated using bootstrapping.
Results: A total of 864 patients with definite ARVC (40±16 years; 53% male) were included. Over 5.75 years (interquartile range, 2.77-10.58) of follow-up, 93 (10.8%) patients experienced LTVA including 15 with SCD/aborted SCD (1.7%). Of the 8 prespecified clinical predictors, only 4 (younger age, male sex, premature ventricular complex count, and number of leads with T-wave inversion) were associated with LTVA. Notably, prior sustained VA did not predict subsequent LTVA (P=0.850). A model including only these 4 predictors had an optimism-corrected C-index of 0.74 (95% CI, 0.69-0.80) and calibration slope of 0.95 (95% CI, 0.94-0.98) indicating minimal over-optimism.
Conclusions: LTVA events in patients with ARVC can be predicted by a novel simple prediction model using only 4 clinical predictors. Prior sustained VA and the extent of functional heart disease are not associated with subsequent LTVA events.
Keywords: arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia; calibration; sudden cardiac death; syncope; ventricular tachycardia.