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AimsArrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), an inherited heart muscle abnormality, is a major cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD). However, the burden of SCD and risk factors in ARVC are not clearly described. Thus, we estimated the rates and predictors of SCD in ARVC in a meta-analysis.Methods and resultsPubMed, Embase, and Web of Science were searched through 7 April 2021. Prospective studies reporting SCD from ARVC cohorts were included. Data were independently extracted by two reviewers and pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. Fifty-two studies (n = 5485 patients) with moderate-to-low risk of bias were included. The pooled annualized rates of SCD were 0.65 per 1000 [95% confidence interval 0.00-6.43, I2 0.00%] in those with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) and 7.21 (2.38-13.79, I2 0.0%) in non-ICD cohorts: 7.14 in probands and 8.44 for 2010 Task Force Criteria (TFC). Multivariable predictors of life-threatening arrhythmic events including SCD were: age at presentation [adjusted hazard ratio 0.98 (0.97-0.99)], male sex [2.08 (1.29-3.36)], right ventricular (RV) dysfunction [6.99 (2.17-22.49)], QRS fragmentation [6.55 (3.33-12.90)], T-wave inversion [1.12 (1.02-1.24)], syncope at presentation [2.83 (2.40-4.08)], previous non-sustained ventricular tachyarrhythmia [2.53 (1.44-4.45)], and the TFC score [1.96 (1.02-3.76)], (P < 0.05). Predictors of appropriate ICD therapy were RV dysfunction, syncope, and inducible ventricular arrhythmia (P < 0.01).ConclusionThis meta-analysis demonstrates a high burden of SCD in ARVC patients, especially among probands and ARVC defined by the modified TFC. Better strategies are required to improve patient management and prevent SCD in ARVC. PROSPERO ID: CRD42020211761.

Original publication




Journal article


Europace : European pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac electrophysiology : journal of the working groups on cardiac pacing, arrhythmias, and cardiac cellular electrophysiology of the European Society of Cardiology

Publication Date





1665 - 1674


Wellcome Centre for Human Genetics, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.


Humans, Syncope, Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia, Death, Sudden, Cardiac, Ventricular Dysfunction, Right, Incidence, Risk Factors, Prospective Studies, Defibrillators, Implantable, Male, Arrhythmias, Cardiac