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J Am Coll Cardiol. 2006 Dec 5;48(11):2277-84.

Magnetic resonance imaging of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia: sensitivity, specificity, and observer variability of fat detection versus functional analysis of the right ventricle.

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Division of Cardiology, Department of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.



The purpose of this study was to determine interobserver agreement for interpretation of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examinations of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) and to determine sensitivity and specificity of fat detection versus functional parameters measured by MRI.


The interobserver variability of MRI and the relative importance of different MRI parameters (fat detection, regional and global right ventricular [RV] function) for ARVD diagnosis is unknown.


Two experienced observers blinded to the clinical history independently analyzed MRI datasets obtained from 40 patients evaluated for ARVD. Twenty normal subjects underwent MRI and served as control subjects. The MRI scans were performed according to a standard protocol on a 1.5-T scanner. The observers reported on fat infiltration, global and regional RV function, myocardial thinning, and chamber dilatation qualitatively. The RV volumes were measured on the cine sequences.


Interobserver kappa scores for fat infiltration, global and regional RV function, wall thinning, and RV outflow dilatation were 0.74, 0.94, 0.89, 0.93, and 0.93, respectively. Correlation coefficients between observers for RV end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, and ejection fraction were 0.93, 0.94, and 0.95, respectively (p < 0.001). Fifteen patients were diagnosed with ARVD using Task Force criteria. Sensitivity of fat infiltration, RV enlargement, and regional RV dysfunction for diagnosing ARVD was 84%, 68%, and 78%, and specificity was 79%, 96%, and 94%, respectively.


Qualitative assessment of RV structure and function is highly reproducible for experienced observers. Among the qualitative parameters, fat infiltration is less reproducible and lacks specificity compared with RV kinetic abnormalities.

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