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Int J Cardiol. 1999 Dec 1;71(3):243-50.

Risk stratification of sudden cardiac death and malignant ventricular arrhythmias in right ventricular dysplasia-cardiomyopathy.

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Academic Teaching Hospital Quedlinburg, Otto-von-Guericke University of Magdeburg, Germany.


Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia-cardiomyopathy is in most cases a benign cause of ventricular arrhythmias in young patients. The major reason of mortality is sudden arrhythmic death with an annual rate of 2-3% as the first manifestation of the disease in most cases. Little is known about risk factors of sudden arrhythmic death so far. The purpose of the retrospective study was to classify risk factors from invasive and non-invasive examinations.


In a cohort of 121 consecutive patients sampled from 1986 to 1998 the value of right ventricular dilatation, left ventricular involvement analysed by angiocardiography or echocardiography and standard ECG parameters such as precordial T wave inversions, right precordial ST elevation, precordial QRS dispersion, left precordial JT interval prolongation and complete right bundle branch block were determined. The whole cohort of patients were divided into two groups with high arrhythmic risk (aborted or non-aborted sudden death, recurrent ventricular tachycardia despite medical treatment, recurrent syncopes) and low risk (frequent ventricular premature beats, non sustained ventricular tachycardia, uneventful course under medical therapy).


From angiocardiography or echocardiography in a quantitative approach right ventricular dilatation (p<0.0001) and additional left ventricular abnormalities (p<0.0001) could be identified as major risk factors. From an ECG point of view increased precordial QRS dispersion > or =50 ms (p<0.01) with complete right bundle branch block and right ventricular dilatation in most cases and precordial T wave inversions beyond V3 (p<0.0001) and the phenomenon of left precordial JT interval prolongation (JT dispersion > or =30 ms) in cases of additional left ventricular abnormalities represented non-invasive predictors of recurrent arrhythmic events. Right precordial ST segment elevation could be excluded as risk factor of sudden arrhythmic death.


Right ventricular dilatation with ECG depolarisation abnormalities and additional left ventricular involvement with striking ECG repolarisation abnormalities could be identified as strong risk factors of recurrent arrhythmic events in ARVD with unfavorable prognosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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