Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare, heritable myocardial disease associated with the development of ventricular arrhythmias, heart failure, and sudden cardiac death in early adulthood. Multimodality imaging is a central component in the diagnosis and evaluation of ARVC. Diagnostic criteria established by an international task force in 2010 include noninvasive parameters from echocardiography and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging. These criteria identify right ventricular structural abnormalities, chamber and outflow tract dilation, and reduced right ventricular function as features of ARVC. Echocardiography is a widely available and cost-effective technique, and it is often selected for initial evaluation. Beyond fulfillment of diagnostic criteria, features such as abnormal tricuspid annular plane excursion, increased right ventricular basal diameter, and abnormal strain patterns have been described. 3-dimensional echocardiography may also expand opportunities for structural and functional assessment of ARVC. Cardiac magnetic resonance has the ability to assess morphological and functional cardiac features of ARVC and is also a core modality in evaluation, however, tissue characterization of the right ventricle is limited by spatial resolution and low specificity for detection of pathological changes. Nonetheless, the ability of cardiac magnetic resonance to identify left ventricular involvement, offer high negative predictive value, and provide a reproducible structural evaluation of the right ventricle enhance the ability and scope of the modality. In this review, the prognostic significance of multimodality imaging is outlined, including the supplemental value of multidetector computed tomography and nuclear imaging. Strengths and weaknesses of imaging techniques, as well as future direction of multimodality assessment, are also described.
Keywords: death, sudden, cardiac; echocardiography; heart failure; magnetic resonance imaging; prognosis.