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Neuromuscul Disord. 1993 May;3(3):201-6.

Ventricular arrhythmia in Duchenne muscular dystrophy: prevalence, significance and prognosis.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Central Hospital of Meaux, France.


The prevalence and prognostic value of ventricular arrhythmias were examined in 45 Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients without congestive heart failure and followed up for 3 yr. Baseline evaluation included 24 h ECG monitoring, systolic time intervals measurement (preejection period/left ventricular ejection time PEP/LVET), echocardiogram and vital capacity tests. Fifteen patients (33%) had ventricular premature beats (VPB > or = 2 h-1). More complex ventricular ectopy (Lown grades 3, 4A, 4B) occurred in 12 patients (27%), who had abnormal ventricular contractility (PEP/LVET > 0.48) and an area of akinesia or dyskinesia. Complex VPB were present on presentation in only 3 of the 30 survivors (10%) but were detected in 6 of the 15 patients (40%) who died. Patients who died suddenly were more likely to have had documented complex ventricular arrhythmias (6 of 9; 66%). It is concluded that: (1) significant arrhythmias frequently coexist with asymptomatic left ventricular dysfunction and wall motion abnormalities; (2) complex VPB as well as left ventricular dysfunction and dilated cardiomyopathy are risk factors for sudden death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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