Right ventricular dysplasia as a generalized cardiomyopathy? Findings on magnetic resonance imaging

G. Molinari, F. Sardanelli, F. Gaita, C. Ottonello, E. Richiardi, R. C. Parodi, M. A. Masperone, S. Caponnetto

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The aim of our study was to define cardiac morphological and functional abnormalities of right ventricular dysplasia by magnetic resonance imaging. Twenty-two healthy volunteers (age, 37.7 ± 14.2 years) free of cardiac or respiratory diseases (group I) and 12 patients (age, 41.9 ± 15.8 years) with clinical, electrophysiological and cineangiographic diagnosis of right ventricular dysplasia (group II) underwent magnetic resonance imaging at 0.2 Tesla. End-diastolic diameter, trabecular disarray and segmental wall motion abnormalities were evaluated for the right ventricle as were adipose replacement and fractional shortening for both ventricles. The right ventricular end-diastolic diameter was significantly enlarged in group II (P = 0.0023). Right ventricular trabecular disarray was mild in two group I subjects, and moderate in seven and massive in five group II patients. Right ventricular systolic bulges were found in seven group II patients, aneurysms in five. Excellent agreement was found between resonance imaging and cineangiography for bulges, aneurysms and tricuspid regurgitation (P <0.0001). On spin-echo images, signal hyperintensities, due to adipose replacement, were found in 44 cardiac regions in group II: right ventricular outflow tract (12), sub-tricuspid posterobasal region (8), right ventricular apex (9), right ventricular anterior wall (6), interventricular septum (4), left ventricular lateral wall (4), left ventricular apex (1). Significant signal-to-noise ratio differences were found between group II abnormal areas and group I myocardial tissue for the right (P <0.0001) and left ventricles (P = 0.0002 and P = 0.0016, respectively). Magnetic resonance imaging can be considered a very useful diagnostic tool for the detection of features typical of right ventricular dysplasia, such as adipose replacement, trabecular disarray, bulges and aneurysms and provides useful information about cardiac function and regional wall motion. It indicates that left ventricular involvement occurs in a significant fraction of patients, and suggests that right ventricular dysplasia may be a generalized cardiomyopathy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1619-1624
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Right ventricular dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology

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    Molinari, G., Sardanelli, F., Gaita, F., Ottonello, C., Richiardi, E., Parodi, R. C., Masperone, M. A., & Caponnetto, S. (1995). Right ventricular dysplasia as a generalized cardiomyopathy? Findings on magnetic resonance imaging. European Heart Journal, 16(11), 1619-1624.