Indexed on: 24 Jun '08Published on: 24 Jun '08Published in: Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is a genetic cardiomyopathy characterized clinically by ventricular arrhythmias and progressive right ventricular (RV) dysfunction. The histopathologic hallmark is fibro-fatty replacement of RV myocardium. It is inherited in an autosomal pattern with variable penetrance. ARVD is unique in that it most commonly presents in young, otherwise healthy and highly athletic individuals. The cause of ARVD is not well-known but recent evidence suggests strongly that it is a disease of desmosomal dysfunction. The disease involvement is not limited only to the RV as left ventricle (LV) has also been reportedly affected. Diagnosis of ARVD is challenging and is currently based upon a multi-disciplinary work-up of the patient as defined by the Task Force. Currently, implanted cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) are routinely used to prevent sudden death in patients with ARVD. Cardiovascular MR is an important non-invasive diagnostic modality that allows both qualitative and quantitative evaluation of RV. This article reviews the genetics of ARVD, current status and role of CMR in the diagnosis of ARVD and LV involvement in ARVD.