• arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia;
  • cardiac sarcoid;
  • myocardial biopsy;
  • left ventricular dysfunction;
  • heart block

Introduction: Case studies indicate that cardiac sarcoid may mimic the clinical presentation of arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C); however, the incidence and clinical predictors to diagnose cardiac sarcoid in patients who meet International Task Force criteria for ARVD/C are unknown.

Methods and Results: Patients referred for evaluation of left bundle branch block (LBBB)-type ventricular arrhythmia and suspected ARVD/C were prospectively evaluated by a standardized protocol including right ventricle (RV) cineangiography-guided myocardial biopsy. Sixteen patients had definite ARVD/C and four had probable ARVD/C. Three patients were found to have noncaseating granulomas on biopsy consistent with sarcoid. Age, systemic symptoms, findings on chest X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), type of ventricular arrhythmia, RV function, ECG abnormalities, and the presence or duration of late potentials did not discriminate between sarcoid and ARVD/C. Left ventricular dysfunction (ejection fraction <50%) was present in 3/3 patients with cardiac sarcoid, but only 2/17 remaining patients with definite or probable ARVD/C (P = 0.01).

Conclusions: In this prospective study of consecutive patients with suspected ARVD/C evaluated by a standard protocol including biopsy, the incidence of cardiac sarcoid was surprisingly high (15%). Clinical features, with the exception of left ventricular dysfunction and histological findings, did not discriminate between the two entities.