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Electrophysiological characteristics and outcome in patients with idiopathic right ventricular arrhythmia compared with arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
  1. F Niroomand2,
  2. C Carbucicchio1,
  3. C Tondo1,
  4. S Riva1,
  5. G Fassini1,
  6. A Apostolo1,
  7. N Trevisi1,
  8. P Della Bella1
  1. 1Institute of Cardiology, University of Milan, IRCCS, Fondazione “I Monzino”, Milan, Italy
  2. 2Department of Cardiology, University of Heidelberg, Heidelberg, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Paolo Della Bella, Institute of Cardiology, University of Milan, Centro Cardiologico – IRCCS, Via Parea 4, 20138 Milan, Italy


Background: Idiopathic right ventricular arrhythmias (IRVA) are responsive to medical and ablative treatment and have a benign prognosis. Arrhythmias caused by right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) are refractory to treatment and may cause sudden death. It is difficult to distinguish between these two types of arrhythmia.

Objective: To differentiate patients with IRVA and ARVD by a conventional electrophysiological study.

Methods: 56 patients with a right ventricular arrhythmia were studied. They had no history or signs of any cardiac disease other than right ventricular dysplasia. They were classified as having IRVA (n = 41) or ARVD (n = 15) on the basis of family history, ECG characteristics, and various imaging techniques. They were further investigated by standard diagnostic electrophysiology.

Results: The two groups were clearly distinguished by the electrophysiological study in the following ways: inducibility of ventricular tachycardia by programmed electrical stimulation with ventricular extrastimuli (IRVA 3% v ARVD 93%, p < 0.0001); presence of more than one ECG morphology during tachycardia (IRVA 0% v ARVD 73%, p < 0.0001); and fragmented diastolic potentials during ventricular arrhythmia (IRVA 0% v ARVD 93%, p < 0.0001). Data from the clinical follow up in these patients supported the diagnosis derived from the electrophysiological study.

Conclusions: Patients with IRVA or ARVD can be distinguished by specific electrophysiological criteria. A diagnosis of ARVD can be made reliably on the basis of clinical presentation, imaging techniques, and an electrophysiological study.

  • arrhythmia
  • right ventricular dysplasia
  • catheter ablation
  • ARVD, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia
  • IRVA, idiopathic right ventricular arrhythmia
  • LBBB, left bundle branch block
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • RBBB, right bundle branch block
  • RFCA, radiofrequency catheter ablation
  • VT ventricular tachycardia

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