Aims Whether the distribution of scar in arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC) plays a role in predicting different types of ventricular arrhythmias is unknown. This study aimed to investigate the prognostic value of scar distribution in patients with ARVC. Methods and results We studied 80 consecutive ARVC patients (46 men, mean age 47 ± 15 years) who underwent an electrophysiological study with ablation. Thirty-four patients receive both endocardial and epicardial mapping. Abnormal endocardial substrates and epicardial substrates were characterized. Three groups were defined according to the epicardial and endocardial scar gradient (<10%: transmural, 10-20%: intermediate, >20%: horizontal, as groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively). Sinus rhythm electrograms underwent a Hilbert-Huang spectral analysis and were displayed as 3D Simultaneous Amplitude Frequency Electrogram Transformation (SAFE-T) maps, which represented the arrhythmogenic potentials. The baseline characteristics were similar between the three groups. Group 3 patients had a higher incidence of fatal ventricular arrhythmias requiring defibrillation and cardiac arrest during the initial presentation despite having fewer premature ventricular complexes. A larger area of arrhythmogenic potentials in the epicardium was observed in patients with horizontal scar. The epicardial-endocardial scar gradient was independently associated with the occurrence of fatal ventricular arrhythmias after a multivariate adjustment. The total, ventricular tachycardia, and VF recurrent rates were higher in Group 3 during 38 ± 21 months of follow-up. Conclusion For ARVC, the epicardial substrate that extended in the horizontal plane rather than transmurally provided the arrhythmogenic substrate for a fatal ventricular arrhythmia circuit.
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