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Am Fam Physician. 2006;73(8):1401

See related article on arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia.

What is arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia?

Arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (say: uh-RITH-mo-jen-ic right ven-TRICK-yoo-lar dis-PLAY-shuh), also called ARVD, is a rare heart problem. The heart has four sections called chambers. The right ventricle (say: VEN-trick-uhl) is one of these chambers. If you have ARVD, the normal heart muscle in your right ventricle is replaced with fat and scar tissue. This can make your heart beat too fast.

Who gets ARVD?

ARVD runs in families. It is most common in people younger than 35 years, but it can happen at any age. If you have a close relative, such as a brother, sister, or parent, who died before the age of 40 from heart-related problems, you may be at risk for ARVD.

How do I know if I have ARVD?

If you have ARVD, you may have a fast heart rate sometimes. You may feel like your heart is “skipping a beat” or that you can’t catch your breath. ARVD sometimes causes chest pain that may seem like a heart attack. Other symptoms of ARVD include passing out, not being able to catch your breath, dizziness, and anxiety or panic.

You should see your doctor right away if you have any of these feelings. Your doctor can test you for ARVD and other heart problems.

How is ARVD treated?

Your doctor may give you medicine to keep your heart beating at a normal rate. Some people may need a device called a pacemaker put near their heart to control their heart beat. Some people need surgery to keep their heart from beating too fast.

Where can I learn more about ARVD?

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