Magnetic Resonance Imaging Findings in Patients Meeting Task Force Criteria for Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia


  • The Johns Hopkins ARVD program is funded by a private grant from the Bogle Foundation. This study also is supported by National Institutes of Health Research Grant 1 UO1 HL65594-01A1. Dr. Castillo is a research fellow in radiology and is supported by a research grant from the Fundación Ramón Areces, Madrid, Spain.

  • Manuscript received 16 December 2002; Accepted for publication 4 March 2003.

Address for correspondence: David A, Bluemke, M.D., Ph.D., MR Imaging, Room 143 (Nelson Basement), The Johns Hopkins Hospital, 600 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore MD 21287. Fax: 410-955-9799; E-mail:


Introduction: Magnet resonance imaging (MRI) findings in patients meeting Task Force criteria for the diagnosis of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) have not been systematically described. We report qualitative and quantitative MRI findings in ARVD using state-of-the-art MRI.

Methods and Results: MRI was performed on 12 patients with ARVD who were prospectively diagnosed using the Task Force criteria. The imaging protocol included breath-hold double inversion recovery spin-echo and gradient-echo images. Ventricular volumes and dimensions were compared to 10 age- and sex-matched normal volunteers. High intramyocardial T1 signal similar to fat signal was observed in 9 (75%) of the 12 patients and in none of the controls. Right ventricular (RV) hypertrophy was seen in 5 (42%) patients, trabecular disarray in 7 (59%), and wall thinning in 3 (25%). Both the RV end-diastolic diameter and the outflow tract area were significantly higher in ARVD patients compared to controls (51.2 vs 43.2 mm,P < 0.01; and 14.5 vs9.3 cm2, P < 0.01, respectively). ARVD patients had a higher RV end-diastolic volume index and lower RV ejection fraction compared with controls (127.4 vs87.5, P < 0.01; and 41.6% vs 57%,P < 0.01, respectively).

Conclusion: High intramyocardial T1 signal indicative of fat is seen in a high percentage (75%) of patients who meet the Task Force criteria for ARVD. Trabecular disarray is seen more frequently than wall thinning and aneurysms. RV dimensions and volumes differ significantly in ARVD compared to controls, indicating a role for quantitative evaluation in the diagnosis of ARVD.(J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 14, pp. 476-482, May 2003)