Right ventricular function is a predictor for sustained ventricular tachycardia requiring anti-tachycardic pacing in arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy: insight into transvenous vs. subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator insertion

Europace. 2023 May 19;25(5):euad073. doi: 10.1093/europace/euad073.


Aims: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) patients develop ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) responsive to anti-tachycardia pacing (ATP). However, VA episodes have not been characterized in accordance with the device therapy, and with the emergence of the subcutaneous implantable cardioverter defibrillator (S-ICD), the appropriate device prescription in ARVC remains unclear. Study aim was to characterize VA events in ARVC patients during follow-up in accordance with device therapy and elicit if certain parameters are predictive of specific VA events.

Methods and results: This was a retrospective single-centre study utilizing prospectively collated registry data of ARVC patients with ICDs. Forty-six patients were included [54.0 ± 12.1 years old and 20 (43.5%) secondary prevention devices]. During a follow-up of 12.1 ± 6.9 years, 31 (67.4%) patients had VA events [n = 2, 6.5% ventricular fibrillation (VF), n = 14], 45.2% VT falling in VF zone resulting in ICD shock(s), n = 10, 32.3% VT resulting in ATP, and n = 5, 16.1% patients had both VT resulting in ATP and ICD shock(s). Lead failure rates were high (11/46, 23.9%). ATP was successful in 34.5% of patients. Severely impaired right ventricular (RV) function was an independent predictor of VT resulting in ATP (hazard ratio 16.80, 95% confidence interval 3.74-75.2; P < 0.001) with a high predictive accuracy (area under the curve 0.88, 95%CI 0.76-1.00; P < 0.001).

Conclusion: VA event rates are high in ARVC patients with a majority having VT falling in the VF zone resulting in ICD shock(s). S-ICDs could be of benefit in most patients with ARVC with the absence of severely impaired RV function which has the potential to avoid consequences of the high burden of lead failure.

Keywords: Arrhythmogenic ventricular cardiomyopathy; Subcutaneous implantable defibrillator; Transvenous implantable defibrillator; Ventricular tachycardia.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / etiology
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia* / complications
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia* / diagnosis
  • Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia* / therapy
  • Cardiomyopathies* / complications
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / adverse effects
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / diagnosis
  • Tachycardia, Ventricular* / prevention & control
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / diagnosis
  • Ventricular Fibrillation / prevention & control
  • Ventricular Function, Right


  • Adenosine Triphosphate