This study sought to investigate the prevalence and mechanisms underlying right ventricular (RV) dyssynchrony in arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C) using tissue Doppler echocardiography (TDE).
An ARVD/C is characterized by fibrofatty replacement of RV myocardium and RV dilation. These pathologic changes may result in electromechanical dyssynchrony.
Echocardiography, both conventional and TDE, was performed in 52 ARVD/C patients fulfilling Task Force criteria and 25 control subjects. The RV end-diastolic and -systolic areas, right ventricular fractional area change (RVFAC), and left ventricular (LV) volumes and function were assessed. Mechanical synchrony was assessed by measuring differences in time-to-peak systolic velocity (TSV) between the RV free wall, ventricular septum, and LV lateral wall. An RV dyssynchrony was defined as the difference in TSV between the RV free wall and the ventricular septum, >2 SD above the mean value for control subjects.
The mean difference in RV TSV was higher in ARVD/C compared with control subjects (55 ± 34 ms vs. 26 ± 15 ms, p < 0.001). Significant RV dyssynchrony was not noted in any of the control subjects. Based on a cutoff value of 56 ms, significant RV dyssynchrony was present in 26 ARVD/C patients (50%). Patients with RV dyssynchrony had a larger RV end-diastolic area (22 ± 5 cm2 vs. 19 ± 4 cm2, p = 0.02), and lower RVFAC (29 ± 8% vs. 34 ± 8%, p = 0.03) compared with ARVD/C patients without RV dyssynchrony. No differences in QRS duration, LV volumes, or function were present between the 2 groups.
An RV dyssynchrony may occur in up to 50% of ARVD/C patients, and is associated with RV remodeling. This finding may have therapeutic and prognostic implications in ARVD/C.