Utility of Exercise Testing in Children and Teenagers With Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
The American journal of cardiology (Impact Factor: 3.28). 09/2009; 104(3):411-3. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2009.03.056
Source: PubMed


Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is increasingly recognized as an important cause of exertional sudden death in otherwise healthy young individuals and athletes. Graded exercise testing is routinely included in the evaluation of patients with suspected ARVC, but its diagnostic utility has not been systematically assessed. Using a single-center retrospective design, the rhythm response to graded exercise testing was examined in 33 tests performed in 16 young (aged <18 years) patients with established diagnosis of ARVC. Ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) were classified as absent (graded 0), as being isolated or in couplets (graded 1), or as comprising nonsustained ventricular tachycardia (graded 2) during pretest rest, at peak exercise, and during postexercise recovery. VPCs were absent at rest in 21 of 33 studies, subsequently appearing at peak exercise in 4 studies and during recovery in 2 studies. Isolated VPCs and couplets were present at rest in 9 of 33 studies, with subsequent exercise provoking higher grade ectopic activity in 2 instances at peak exercise and in 1 case during recovery, while VPCs decreased or remained unchanged in all other cases. In all 3 instances in which ventricular tachycardia was observed during pretest rest, there was either suppression (3 at peak exercise, 2 during recovery) or no change (1 case during recovery) in VPC grade. In conclusion, the exercise response of ventricular ectopic activity is highly variable in young patients with ARVC. The diagnostic utility of graded exercise testing is thus questionable in young patients with suspected ARVC, and the absence or suppression of VPCs during exercise should not be considered reassuring in terms of its diagnostic exclusion.

Download full-text


Available from: Robert Murray Hamilton,
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The authors summarize the present knowledge on arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia. Limited data are available about natural history of asymptomatic patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy/dysplasia, who have a ventricular tachycardia during exercise test. A 25-year old female patient was treated with osteosynthesis because of ankle injury. Cardiology consultation was performed because of an abnormal ECG. Physical examination was normal. ECG showed a normal sinus rhythm, left axis deviation, negative T waves in leads II, III, aVF and V2-V6. Chest X-ray and laboratory findings were normal. Echocardiography showed normal left ventricular ejection fraction along with inferior akinesis and dilated right ventricle. Bicycle exercise test revealed a good exercise tolerability (9 MET), and after sporadic ventricular extra systoles ventricular tachycardia developed lasting for 3 minutes, which spontaneously stopped after aborting the test and performed abdominal strain. MRI was performed which has shown normal left ventricular size, wall motion and ejection fraction and depressed right ventricle function (ejection fraction 31.6%) enlarged right ventricular end-systolic and diastolic volumes, hypo-akinetic regions without aneurysm and bulging. No contrast enhancement was seen in the thin right ventricular wall. According to abnormal ECG and MRI findings arrhythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy/dysplasia was diagnosed. No ICD implantation was indicated because the patient was asymptomatic, and no sudden cardiac death occurred in the family. Three month later the patient was found dead. At autopsy the right ventricular chamber was markedly enlarged, with multiple translucent areas of fatty accumulation accompanied with extended myocytes loss. There was a characteristic triangle dysplasia: the inflow, outflow tracts and apical areas. The coronaries were free of atherosclerosis. Mallory's phosphotungstic acid-hematoxilin stain demonstrated the presence of fibrosis within the scattered myocardium. Conclusion: malignant ventricular arrhythmia provoked by exercise test in an asymptomatic arrhythmogenic right ventricle cardiomyopathy/dysplasia patient with negative family history should be an indication for ICD implantation.
    Orvosi Hetilap 12/2010; 151(52):2145-9. DOI:10.1556/OH.2010.28995
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Determining safe levels of physical activity for children and adolescents with electrophysiologic and structural congenital heart disease is a challenging clinical problem. The body of evidence for making these recommendations is limited and likely based on expert opinion, medicolegal concerns, and perceived risks of sudden cardiac death (SCD) with activity. The Bethesda Conference has established consensus guidelines for determining the eligibility of athletes with cardiovascular abnormalities for competitive sports and their disqualification from them. However, literature on guidelines for noncompetitive physical activity is not available. A survey was designed to determine practice patterns for patients with electrophysiologic and structural congenital heart disease. Between July 2011 and December 2011, approximately 350 health care providers working with this group of patients were recruited by email or while attending professional meetings. The survey received 81 responses, primarily from pediatric cardiologists (70 %). The findings indicate that the majority of Canadian cardiac care providers surveyed are only partially implementing current recommendations. Areas of variance included physical activity recommendations for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, long QT syndrome, catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia, and heart transplantation, among others. The development of comprehensive consensus guidelines for activity recommendations was supported by 96 % of the respondents. The heterogeneity of responses may be attributable to conflicting and poorly evidenced information in the literature, a lack of emphasis on recreational activity, an entrenched tendency toward bed rest in the cardiology community, and a lack of awareness by cardiac care providers regarding the actual risk associated with physical activity in electrophysiologic and structural congenital heart disease. A balanced discussion is required in considering both the significant benefit of physical activity in reducing cardiovascular risk factors and the small possibility of SCD in children and young adults with electrophysiologic and structural congenital heart disease.
    Pediatric Cardiology 02/2013; 34(6). DOI:10.1007/s00246-013-0654-z · 1.31 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Exercise testing is an important diagnostic tool that creates an environment of automaticity at the electrical membrane, which tolerates premature beats and re-entrant arrhythmogenic circuits. Exercise testing mimics the authentic situation of physical activity and stress, recognized as a fatal trigger of critical arrhythmias in cases of underlying cardiac risk constellation. Although it is established as a second-line diagnostic tool, exercise testing can provide crucial information in an earlier setting, if there are exercise-dependent symptoms in an athlete's history, clinical suspicion of an underlying structural or primarily electrical heart disease, or known structural or electrical disease.
    Cardiac electrophysiology clinics 03/2013; 5(1):53–64. DOI:10.1016/j.ccep.2012.11.003
Show more