Long-term outcomes of patients with ventricular arrhythmias and negative programmed ventricular stimulation followed with implantable loop recorders: Impact of delayed-enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance imaging

J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol. 2023 Dec;34(12):2581-2589. doi: 10.1111/jce.16109. Epub 2023 Nov 3.


Background: Programed ventricular stimulation (PVS) is a risk stratification tool in patients at risk for adverse arrhythmia outcomes. Patients with negative PVS may yet be at risk for adverse arrhythmia-related events, particularly in the presence of symptomatic ventricular arrhythmias (VA).

Objective: To investigate the long-term outcomes of real-world patients with symptomatic VA without indication for device therapy and negative PVS, and to examine the role of cardiac scaring on arrhythmia recurrence.

Methods: Patients with symptomatic VA, and late gadolinium enhancement cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (LGE-CMR), and negative PVS testing were included. All patients underwent placement of implantable cardiac monitors (ICM). Survival analysis was performed to investigate the impact of LGE-CMR findings on survival free from adverse arrhythmic events.

Results: Seventy-eight patients were included (age 60 ± 14 years, women n = 36 (46%), ejection fraction 57 ± 9%, cardiomyopathy n = 26 (33%), mitral valve prolapse [MVP] n = 9 (12%), positive LGE-CMR scar n = 49 (62%), history of syncope n = 23 (29%)) including patients with primarily premature ventricular contractions (n = 21) or nonsustained VA (n = 57). Patients were followed for 1.6 ± 1.5 years during which 14 patients (18%) experienced VA requiring treatment (n = 14) or syncope due to bradycardia (n = 2). Four/9 patients (44%) with MVP experienced VA (n = 3) or syncope (n = 1). Baseline characteristics between those with and without adverse events were similar (p > 0.05); however, the presence of cardiac scar on LGE-CMR was independently associated with an increased risk of adverse events (hazard ratio: 5.6 95% confidence interval: [1.2-27], p = 0.03, log-rank p = 0.03).

Conclusions: In a real-world cohort with long-term follow-up, adverse arrhythmic outcomes occurred in 18% of patients with symptomatic VA despite negative PVS, and this risk was significantly greater in patients with positive DE-CMR scar. Long term-monitoring, including the use of ICM, may be appropriate in these patients.

Keywords: implantable loop recorder; late gadolinium-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; programmed ventricular stimulation; ventricular arrhythmias.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / diagnostic imaging
  • Arrhythmias, Cardiac / therapy
  • Cicatrix / complications
  • Contrast Media*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology
  • Female
  • Gadolinium
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Cine / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitral Valve Prolapse* / complications
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Syncope


  • Contrast Media
  • Gadolinium