A new score for life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death in adults with transposition of the great arteries and a systemic right ventricle

Eur Heart J. 2022 Jul 21;43(28):2685-2694. doi: 10.1093/eurheartj/ehac288.


Aims: To investigate the incidence of major adverse ventricular arrhythmias and related events (MAREs) and to develop a stratification tool predicting MAREs in adults with a systemic right ventricle (sRV).

Methods and results: In a multicentre approach, all adults (≥16 years old) with a sRV undergoing follow-up between 2000 and 2018 were identified. The incidence of MAREs, defined as sudden cardiac death, sustained ventricular tachycardia, and appropriate implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) therapy, was analysed. The association of MAREs with clinical, electrical, and echocardiographic parameters was evaluated. A total of 1184 patients (median age 27.1 years; interquartile range 19.9-34.9 years; 59% male; 70% with atrial switch repair for D-transposition of the great arteries) were included. The incidence of MAREs was 6.3 per 1000 patient-years. On multivariate analysis, age, history of heart failure, syncope, QRS duration, severe sRV dysfunction and at least moderate left ventricular outflow tract obstruction were retained in the final model with a C-index of 0.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.72-0.83] and a calibration slope of 0.93 (95% CI 0.64-1.21). For every five ICDs implanted in patients with a 5-year MARE risk >10%, one patient may potentially be spared from a MARE.

Conclusion: Sudden cardiac death remains a devastating cause of death in a contemporary adult cohort with a sRV. A prediction model based on clinical, electrocardiographic, and echocardiographic parameters was devised to estimate MARE risk and to identify high-risk patients who may benefit from primary prevention ICD implantation.

Keywords: Sudden cardiac death; Systemic right ventricle; Transposition of the great arteries.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / complications
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Arteries
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / epidemiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Heart Ventricles* / diagnostic imaging
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Transposition of Great Vessels* / complications
  • Transposition of Great Vessels* / surgery
  • Young Adult