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Europace. 2018 Jun 1;20(FI1):f30-f36. doi: 10.1093/europace/euy007.

Arrhythmogenic response to isoproterenol testing vs. exercise testing in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy patients.

Author information

Hôpital Cardiologique du Haut-Lévèque, CHU Bordeaux, LIRYC, L'institut de rythmologie et modélisation cardiaque, Université de Bordeaux, France.



To compare the arrhythmic response to isoproterenol and exercise testing in newly diagnosed arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) patients.

Methods and results:

We studied isoproterenol [continuous infusion (45 µg/min) for 3 min] and exercise testing (workload increased by 30 W every 3 min) performed in consecutive newly diagnosed ARVC patients. Both tests were evaluated with regard to the incidence of (i) polymorphic premature ventricular contractions (PVCs) and couplet(s) or (ii) sustained or non-sustained ventricular tachycardia (VT) with left bundle branch block [excluding right ventricular outflow tract VT]; and compared to a control group referred for the evaluation of PVCs without structural heart disease. Thirty-seven ARVC patients (63.5% male, age 38 ± 16 years) were included. The maximal sinus rhythm heart rate achieved during isoproterenol testing was significantly lower compared to exercise testing (149 ± 17 bpm vs. 166 ± 19 bpm, P < 0.0001). However, the incidence of polymorphic ventricular arrhythmias was much higher during isoproterenol testing compared to exercise testing [33/37 (89.2%) vs. 16/37 (43.2%), P < 0.0001]. Interestingly, isoproterenol testing was arrhythmogenic in all 15 patients in whom baseline PVCs were reduced or suppressed during exercise testing. During both isoproterenol and exercise testing, control group presented a low incidence of ventricular arrhythmias compared to ARVC patients (8.1% vs. 89.2%, P < 0.0001 and 2.7% vs. 43.2%, P < 0.0001, respectively).


The incidence of polymorphic ventricular arrhythmias is significantly higher during isoproterenol compared to exercise testing in newly diagnosed ARVC patients, suggesting its potential utility for the diagnosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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