Value of Repeated Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients with Suspected Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy
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AIM: Diagnosis of early stages of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) with minimal structural abnormalities is challenging. The purpose of this study was to assess the value of repeated cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) in patients referred for right ventricular arrhythmias and clinical suspicion of ARVC. METHODS AND RESULTS: Prospective follow-up study of 18 patients (8 females) studied with CMR for suspected ARVC. Patients with implanted defibrillators (ICD) were excluded. Mean follow-up was 37 +/- 16 (12-59) months. Patients were assigned to 2 categories (ARVC likely or ARVC unlikely) according to a CMR-score based on right ventricular abnormalities. Clinical follow-up revealed no disease progression in 17 patients (94%). In 1 patient, an ICD was implanted because of disease progression. Of 9 patients with initial findings suggestive of ARVC, follow-up CMR remained positive in 3 and was diagnosed as normal in 6, mainly due to the inability to confirm the presence of fatty infiltrates at follow-up (5 of 6 patients). Initially, 9 patients had a normal CMR and 8 of those remained normal during follow-up. CONCLUSION: Repeated CMR after an average follow-up of 3 years was normal in 6 of 9 patients with clinical findings consistent with early stages of ARVC at the time of baseline CMR. Thus, CMR diagnosis of early stage ARVC is difficult and should be made with caution.
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