Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD), first recognized in 1977, is an inherited cardiomyopathy mostly due to mutations in both desmosomal and non-desmosomal genes. ARVD is considered as a leading cause of sudden cardiac death in the young and the athlete. It is characterized by an abnormality in the development of the right ventricular (RV) musculature. The final diagnosis of ARVD was pathologically based on the findings characterized by fibro-fatty infiltration and cardiomyocyte loss predominantly affecting the RV. Epsilon waves are a feature of ARVD reflecting postexcitation of the myocytes in the RV that are interspersed between fibrous and fatty tissue. Epsilon waves are considered to be one of the major diagnostic criteria of ARVD and appear to correlate with the extent of ARVD and arrhythmic risk. In this review, we will briefly review the discovery of ARVD and Epsilon waves, discuss the electrogenesis and various methods for recording Epsilon waves, provide evidence to assist in understanding the pathological and functional changes of the heart in ARVD, thus promoting the management of this disease in patients and family members.
Part of the book: Current Perspectives on Cardiomyopathies