Patients with right ventricular tachycardia may have adverse electrophysiological abnormalities linked to disturbed right ventricular structure. Seventeen patients who presented with right ventricular tachycardia without coronary artery disease or gross abnormalities of left ventricular function were studied. Patients had the ventricular tachycardia characterised at electrophysiological study and most underwent radionuclide and contrast angiography. At echocardiography specific attention was paid to the right ventricular chamber size. Two groups were identified at echocardiographic study. In group 1, nine patients had normal left ventricular dimensions and relatively normal features at electrophysiological study. Mean right ventricular ejection fraction was 0.45 by krypton-81 measurement. Group 2 comprised eight patients who had dilatation of right ventricular inflow tract, outflow tract, and right ventricular body. This group had more severe features at presentation and at electrophysiological study. In this group all available echocardiographic measurements of right ventricular chamber size were greater than those of group 1 and outside the normal range. Four of the eight patients in group 2 showed regional right ventricular dyskinesia at echocardiography. Mean right ventricular ejection fraction (0.23) in group 2 was significantly lower than in group 1. One patient in group 2 subsequently died. In patients with right ventricular tachycardia, those with less favourable prognostic features at electrophysiological study may have distinct abnormalities of right ventricular structure that can be identified at echocardiographic study. Echocardiography may be of value in the recognition of potentially malignant clinical and electrophysiological features in this group.
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