Long-term follow-up in patients with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy

Cheng-Hung Li, Yenn-Jiang Lin, Jin-Long Huang, Tsu-Juey Wu, Chen-Chuan Cheng, Wei-Shiang Lin, Ta-Chuan Tuan, Shih-Lin Chang, Li-Wei Lo, Yu-Feng Hu, Tze-Fan Chao, Fa-Po Chung, Chin-Feng Tsai, Hsuan-Ming Tsao, Shih-Ann Chen
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology 2012, 23 (7): 750-6

INTRODUCTION: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) is a major cause of sudden cardiac death due to tachyarrhythmias. The purpose of this study was to investigate the long-term prognosis in patients with ARVC and the incidence of rapid ventricular arrhythmias during follow-up.

METHODS: Thirty ARVC patients (19 male, 63.3%, mean age 48 ± 15 years) fulfilling modified Task Force criteria 2010 were included. Of them, 13 patients (43.3%) received implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) implantation. Rapid ventricular arrhythmia was defined as electrical storm or the occurrence of ventricular tachycardia (VT) or ventricular fibrillation (VF) with a cycle length of 240 ms or less that necessitate shock delivery to 2 or more times within a 24-hour period.

RESULTS: With a mean follow-up of 68 ± 10 months, 6 patients (20%) with ICD implantation had recurrent rapid VT/VF. One (3.3%) of them died of multiple shocks and SCD, and 5 (16.7%) had multiple ICD therapies due to VT/VF and electrical storm. The interval between the diagnosis of ARVC and occurrence of rapid VT/VF was 13.4 ± 4.9 months. Most (5/6, 83.3%) events of recurrent rapid VT/VF occurred within 2 years. Ablated patients who did not receive an ICD implant were totally free of rapid VT/VF.

CONCLUSIONS: For patients with ARVC, long-term prognosis is favorable. During a long-term follow-up, patients meeting the criteria for ICD implantation have a higher rate of rapid and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias. However, early and clustered recurrence of rapid VT/VF in patients with an ICD is common, whereas late occurrence of rapid VT/VF is very rare.

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