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Fragmented QRS Complex Predicts the Arrhythmic Events in Patients with Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy/Dysplasia

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frQRS and Outcomes in ARVC/D

Background

Fragmented QRS (frQRS) complex, with various morphology, has been recently described as a diagnostic criterion of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy/dysplasia (ARVC/D). However, there are little data regarding the prognostic role of frQRS in these patients. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the association of frQRS with arrhythmic events in patients with ARVC/D.

Methods

Seventy-eight patients (51 men, 65.4%; mean age: 31.25 ± 11.5 years) with the diagnosis of ARVC/D according to 2010 modified Task Force Criteria were analyzed retrospectively. Baseline ECG evaluation revealed frQRS complex in 46 patients (59%). Eleven patients with complete/incomplete right bundle branch block were excluded from the study. The phenomenon of frQRS was defined as deflections at the beginning of the QRS complex, on top of the R-wave, or in the nadir of the S-wave similar to the definition in CAD in either one right precordial lead or in more than one lead including all standard ECG leads.

Results

During 38 ± 14 months follow-up period, 3 patients (3.8%) died suddenly, 36 patients (46.1%) experienced arrhythmic events (32 ventricular tachycardias [VTs] and 4 ventricular fibrillation [VF], 30 in the ICD group). The frQRS was significantly associated with arrhythmic events (P < 0.001). Also, the number of ECG leads with frQRS complex was higher in patients with arrhythmic events (5.08 ± 2.5 vs 1.14 ± 1.7, P < 0.001, respectively).

Conclusion

The frQRS complex on standard 12-lead ECG predicts fatal and nonfatal arrhythmic events in patients with ARVC/D. Therefore, large scale and prospective studies are needed to confirm those findings.

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