Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy

Symptoms

What are the main symptoms of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy?

The most common signs and symptoms of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) are heart palpitations, fainting, or sudden death. Fainting while exercising or exerting effort and specific heart rhythm findings on an electrocardiogram (T wave inversion in right precordial leads V1, V2, and V3 or an epsilon wave - a small positive deflection at the end of the QRS complex) are also frequent signs of ARVC. These signs and symptoms of ARVC typically presents in adults, although it may be seen in teens as well.

ARVC is a progressive disease that gradually causes worsening health issues. In order to better explain these changes over time, doctors divided the stages of disease worsening into four described stages that include:

  1. Concealed phase- An early phase of ARVC with no clinical signs or symptoms of the condition, but still with an high rate of fainting (syncope) and sudden cardiac death.
  2. Overt Intermediate phase- Frequent dangerous heart arrhythmias caused by errors in the electrical signaling of the heart and resulting in heart palpitations, fainting, and other symptoms of ARVC.
  3. Right ventricular failure- This weakening of the heart's right lower chamber (the ventricle) means it is too damaged to pump enough blood to the lungs. This causes blood to build up in the veins. Symptoms including: venous hypertension, fatigue, shortness of breath, enlarged liver, fluid retention in the legs (peripheral edema), lack of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain.
  4. Biventricular pump failure- Following right ventricle failure, the lower left chamber of the heart may become weak too. In this situation both the right and left ventricles are not pumping well or working together and the heart is failing. Symptoms in this stage may include: enlarge heart, venous hypertension, fatigue, shortness of breath, enlarged liver, fluid retention in the legs (peripheral edema), lack of appetite, nausea, and abdominal pain.

SOURCE: Emory University - Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with ThinkGenetic • https://www.thinkgenetic.com/diseases/arrhythmogenic-right-ventricular-cardiomyopathy-109924/symptoms/66385 • DATE UPDATED: 2019-11-15

References

McNally E, MacLeod H, Dellefave-Castillo L. Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy. 2005 Apr 18 [Updated 2017 May 25]. In: Adam MP, Ardinger HH, Pagon RA, et al., editors. GeneReviews® [Internet]. Seattle (WA): University of Washington, Seattle; 1993-2019. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1131/ Accessed March 29, 2019.

InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Types of heart failure. 2018 Jan 25. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK481485/

British Heart Foundation "Inherited heart conditions: Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy". https://www.cardiomyopathy.org/downloads/information-section/bhf-booklets/arrhythmogenic-right-ventricular-cardiomyopathy.pdf Accessed 29MAR2019.

Jancin, "What cardiologists need to know about ARVC" Cardiology News https://www.mdedge.com/cardiology/article/194608/arrhythmias-ep/what-cardiologists-need-know-about-arvc 2/15/19. Accessed 14NOV19.

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