Syncopal Episodes of Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Cardiomyopathy in a Patient with Pre-existing Seizure Disorder

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Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), is a heritable condition that is an important, and under-recognized cause of sudden cardiac death. Microscopically, it is represented by fibrofatty replacement of myocardium involving the right ventricular inflow area, apex, and infundibulum. Common clinical manifestations of ARVC include palpitations, syncope, chest pain, dyspnea, and sudden cardiac death. This is a case of a 25-year-old male with a history of thalassemia, and tonic-clonic seizure status post head trauma with cystic encephalomalacia in left parietal lobe who described recurrent syncope. He was followed by neurology and maintained only on Lamotrigine. Episodes occurred within the span of four weeks and were without prodrome, lasting only a few seconds. On evaluation, blood pressure was 123/69 mmHg. Neurologic exam was grossly normal. Heart was regular rate and rhythm without gallops, murmur, or rub. An EKG showed normal sinus rhythm with an incomplete right bundle branch block and Epsilon waves in leads V1 and V2 without evidence of Brugada syndrome. The patient was admitted and had a 24-hour electroencephalogram that showed no seizure activity. A 2D Echo showed normal left ventricular function and no valvular disease. Eventual cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) showed small focal outpouchings of the right ventricular free wall. A diagnosis of ARVC was achieved, and the patient underwent electrophysiology (EP) study and successful implantation of a dual-chamber cardioverter defibrillator.





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Department of Medicine, Department of Medicine Fellows and Residents, Cardiology Division

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