Familial arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy or dysplasia (ARVD) is an idiopathic heart muscle disease with an autosomal-dominant pattern of transmission, characterized by fibro-fatty replacement of the right ventricular myocardium and ventricular arrhythmias. Recently, linkage to the chromosome 14q23-q24 (locus D14S42) has been reported in two families. In the present study, three unrelated families with ARVD were investigated. According to strict diagnostic criteria, 13 of 37 members were considered to be affected. Linkage to the D14S42 locus was excluded. On the other hand, linkage was found in the region 14q12-q22 in all three families (cumulative two-point lod score is 3.26 for D14S252), with no recombination between the detected locus and the disease gene. With multipoint linkage analysis, a maximal cumulative lod score of 4.7 was obtained in the region between loci D14S252 and D14S257. These data indicate that a novel gene causing familial ARVD (provisionally named ARVD2) maps to the long arm of chromosome 14, thus supporting the hypothesis of genetic heterogeneity in this disease.