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Prognostic value of normal cardiac MRI in patients with suspected arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia


Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is an inherited cardiomyopathy characterized by ventricular arrhythmias and structural abnormalities of the right ventricle (RV). The aim of this study is to investigate the prognostic value of normal cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in patients with suspected ARVD.


We included patients with clinically suspected ARVD who underwent CMR between 1/1/2003 and 12/31/2007. Imaging protocol included steady-state acquisition cine imaging, T(1)-weighted black blood imaging with and without fat suppression and post-contrast delayed enhancement on a 1.5-T scanner to evaluate ventricular function and morphology, fatty infiltration and regional myocardial fibrosis. Patient who had CMR major criteria for ARVD were excluded from this analysis. In addition, patients in whom the clinical workup revealed alternative diagnosis were excluded. Included patients were followed up till 9/2008 for the incidence of all cause mortality, re-hospitalization for arrhythmic causes and (implantable defibrillator) ICD implantation.


A total of 66 patients (mean age 44.4 years, 56% males) met the inclusion criteria. After a mean follow-up duration of 3.2 years, no patients died. None of the included patients developed ARVD or arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. However, 12 (18%) patients were re-hospitalized for arrhythmic causes including 4 patients with supraventricular tachycardia and 4 patients with right ventricular outflow tachycardia, three of which required ICD implantation.


In patients with suspected ARVD, a normal CMR has a high negative predictive value for the development of death or future ARVD. However, an alternative diagnosis may be found in up to 18% of these patients on follow-up. Serial reevaluation for other arrhythmic causes may be warranted in symptomatic patients.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Njeim, M., Singh, G., Tzogias, L. et al. Prognostic value of normal cardiac MRI in patients with suspected arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia. J Cardiovasc Magn Reson 11 (Suppl 1), P56 (2009).

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