Diagnosis of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia: A Review1

Leiden University, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
Radiographics (Impact Factor: 2.6). 05/2002; 22(3):639-48; discussion 649-50. DOI: 10.1148/radiographics.22.3.g02ma07639
Source: PubMed


Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is a myocardial disorder of primarily the right ventricle, with unknown cause and prevalence and with a frequent familial occurrence. The typical clinical manifestation consists of ventricular arrhythmias with a left bundle branch block (LBBB) pattern that occur predominantly in young adults. ARVD may result in sudden death. Other manifestations are electrocardiographic repolarization and depolarization changes, structural abnormalities that range from subtle wall aneurysms within the so-called "triangle of dysplasia" to biventricular regional or global dysfunction, and localized or widespread fibrofatty infiltration of the right ventricular myocardium. The diagnosis of ARVD is based on the presence of major and minor criteria encompassing genetic, electrocardiographic, pathophysiologic, and histopathologic factors. The imaging modalities used to evaluate right ventricular abnormalities include conventional angiography, echocardiography, radionuclide angiography, ultrafast computed tomography, and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Among these techniques, MR imaging allows the clearest visualization of the heart. Because MR imaging depicts both functional and structural abnormalities, positive MR imaging findings should be used as important additional criteria in the clinical diagnosis of ARVD. MR imaging appears to be the optimal technique for detection and follow-up of clinically suspected ARVD.

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    • "With the fibrofatty degeneration characteristically beginning in the subepicardial myocardial layer and often being focal in distribution, myocardial biopsy usually has only a low yield in detecting the ARVC defining histopathological changes, especially in early disease stages [2]. Instead, the diagnosis of ARVC relies on the presence of a set of major and minor criteria that were defined by an International Task Force Group in 1994 and encompass structural, functional, electrocardiographic and histopathological as well as genetic factors [3]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Fibrofatty degeneration of myocardium in ARVC is associated with wall motion abnormalities. The aim of this study was to examine whether Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (CMR) based strain analysis using feature tracking (FT) can serve as a quantifiable measure to confirm global and regional ventricular dysfunction in ARVC patients and support the early detection of ARVC. Methods We enrolled 20 patients with ARVC, 30 with borderline ARVC and 22 subjects with a positive family history but no clinical signs of a manifest ARVC. 10 healthy volunteers (HV) served as controls. 15 ARVC patients received genotyping for Plakophilin-2 mutation (PKP-2), of which 7 were found to be positive. Cine MR datasets of all subjects were assessed for myocardial strain using FT (TomTec Diogenes Software). Global strain and strain rate in radial, circumferential and longitudinal mode were assessed for the right and left ventricle. In addition strain analysis at a segmental level was performed for the right ventricular free wall. Results RV global longitudinal strain rates in ARVC (−0.68 ± 0.36 sec−1) and borderline ARVC (−0.85 ± 0.36 sec−1) were significantly reduced in comparison with HV (−1.38 ± 0.52 sec−1, p≤0.05). Furthermore, in ARVC patients RV global circumferential strain and strain rates at the basal level were significantly reduced compared with HV (strain: −5.1 ± 2.7 vs. -9.2 ± 3.6%; strain rate: −0.31 ± 0.13 sec−1 vs. -0.61 ± 0.21 sec−1). Even for patients with ARVC or borderline ARVC and normal RV ejection fraction (n=30) global longitudinal strain rate proved to be significantly reduced compared with HV (−0.9 ± 0.3 vs. -1.4 ± 0.5 sec−1; p < 0.005). In ARVC patients with PKP-2 mutation there was a clear trend towards a more pronounced impairment in RV global longitudinal strain rate. On ROC analysis RV global longitudinal strain rate and circumferential strain rate at the basal level proved to be the best discriminators between ARVC patients and HV (AUC: 0.9 and 0.92, respectively). Conclusion CMR based strain analysis using FT is an objective and useful measure for quantification of wall motion abnormalities in ARVC. It allows differentiation between manifest or borderline ARVC and HV, even if ejection fraction is still normal.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
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    • "The assessment of structural and functional abnormalities of the right ventricle is a challenging aspect of diagnosis. The unmatched ability of CMR to evaluate both global function and focal wall motion abnormalities in the RV, coupled with the potential for non-invasive characterization of intramyocardial fatty infiltration, have led to a keen interest from clinicians in using this technique to assess patients for ARVC.7 Attempts have been made to clarify the sensitivity, specificity and predictive value of CMR imaging in patients with ARVC, but the populations tested have a much higher prevalence of the condition than can be expected in routine clinical practice. "
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    ABSTRACT: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a rare but important cause of sudden cardiac death. We investigated the role of cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in the evaluation of patients with suspected ARVC referred by a general cardiology service. Ninety-two patients (mean age 48 ± 15, 49% female), referred for CMR assessment of possible ARVC, were reviewed. CMR included both functional and tissue characteristic imaging. No patients had ARVC based on the 1994 Task Force Criteria (TFC) prior to CMR, but 4 met proposed Modified TFC; 15% met one major (±1 minor) TFC, 71% 1 or 2 minor TFC, and 14% no TFC. Reasons for CMR referral included symptomatic arrhythmia of likely RV origin (28%), Electrocardiogram/Holter abnormalities (28%), echocardiographic features suspicious of ARVC (19%), and family history of ARVC (8%). CMR findings strongly suggestive of ARVC were found in nine patients (10%), although only three were considered typical. Of these patients two met 1 major TFC and seven met 1 or 2 minor TFC. CMR findings included RV thinning, aneurysm, and diastolic out-pouching, but only 1 patient had definite fatty infiltration of the RV. Incidentally, CMR detected important, previously undiagnosed pathology, including anomalous pulmonary venous drainage (2 patients) and non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy (6%). CMR was normal in 63%, with minor abnormalities in 29%. CMR may play an important diagnostic role in the evaluation of possible ARVC. Patients who do not meet TFC for diagnosis may have CMR features typical of ARVC. Additionally CMR may detect other hitherto undiagnosed structural or functional abnormalities that alter patient management. However the majority of patients referred have a low pretest probability of ARVC, and the rate of normal CMR scans is high.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Clinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology
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    • "The earlier papers on MRI utilization in the diagnosis of ARVC/D invariably emphasized the ability of MRI to characterize fatty infiltration of the myocardium.26-30) Spin-echo black-blood imaging sequences visualize the fat with high-intensity signals in contrast to intermediate signals of normal myocardium (Fig. 4). "
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    ABSTRACT: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia (ARVC/D) is a genetically determined disease that progresses continuously from conception and throughout life. ARVC/D manifests predominantly in young adulthood. Early identification of the concealed cases in childhood is of utmost importance for the prevention of sudden cardiac death later in life. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is routinely requested in patients with a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of ARVC/D and in family members of the patients with ARVC/D. Although the utility of MRI in the assessment of ARVC/D is well recognized in adults, MRI is a low-yield test in children as the anatomical, histological, and functional changes are frequently subtle or not present in the early phase of the disease. MRI findings of ARVC/D include morphologic changes such as right ventricular dilatation, wall thinning, and aneurismal outpouchings, as well as abnormal tissue characteristics such as myocardial fibrosis and fatty infiltration, and functional abnormalities such as global ventricular dysfunction and regional wall motion abnormalities. Among these findings, regional wall motion abnormalities are the most reliable MRI findings both in children and adults, while myocardial fibrosis and fat infiltration are rarely seen in children. Therefore, an MRI protocol should be tailored according to the patient's age and compliance, as well as the presence of other findings, instead of using the protocol that is used for adults. We propose that MRI in children with ARVC/D should focus on the detection of regional wall motion abnormalities and global ventricular function by using a cine imaging sequence and that the sequences for myocardial fat and late gadolinium enhancement of the myocardium are reserved for those who show abnormal findings at cine imaging. Importantly, MRI should be performed and interpreted by experienced examiners to reduce the number of false positive and false negative readings.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2010 · Korean Circulation Journal
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