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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2001 Dec;38(7):1773-81.

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy.

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  • 1Hartford Hospital, Division of Cardiology, Hartford, Connecticut, USA.


Arrhythmogenic right ventricular (RV) cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a cardiomyopathy characterized pathologically by fibrofatty replacement primarily of the RV and clinically by life-threatening ventricular arrhythmias in apparently healthy young people. The prevalence of the disease has been estimated at 1 in 5,000 individuals, although this estimate will likely increase as awareness of the condition increases among physicians. Arrhythmogenic RV cardiomyopathy is recognized as a cause of sudden death during athletic activity because of its association with ventricular arrhythmias that are provoked by exercise-induced catecholamine discharge. Diagnosis may be difficult because many of the electrocardiographic abnormalities mimic patterns seen in normal children, and the disease often involves only patchy areas of the RV. For this reason, international diagnostic criteria for ARVC were proposed by an expert consensus panel in 1996. Treatment is directed to preventing life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias with medications and the use of implantable defibrillators. This article will present in detail the etiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of this condition.

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