Indexed on: 06 May '15Published on: 06 May '15Published in: JACC: Cardiovascular Imaging
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) is a familial cardiomyopathy resulting in progressive right ventricular (RV) dysfunction and malignant ventricular arrhythmias. Although ARVD/C is generally considered an inherited cardiomyopathy, the arrhythmogenic nature of the disease is striking. Affected individuals typically present in the second to fourth decade of life with arrhythmias originating from the right ventricle. Over the past decade, pathogenic ARVD/C-causing mutations have been identified in 5 genes encoding the cardiac desmosome. Disruption of the desmosomal connection system between cardiomyocytes may be represented structurally by ventricular enlargement, global or regional contraction abnormalities, RV aneurysms, or fibrofatty replacement. These abnormalities are typically observed in predilection areas, including the subtricuspid region, basal RV free wall, and left ventricular posterolateral wall. As such, structural and functional abnormalities on cardiac imaging constitute an important diagnostic criterion for the disease. This paper discusses the current status and role of echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and computed tomography for suspected ARVD/C.