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Arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC)

When part of the muscle of the right ventricle is replaced by fat, which can lead to heart failure and heart rhythm disorders


ARVC or arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) is a heart condition  — which can be genetic but is not always — that can weaken the heart muscle of the right ventricle. The cause is variable and unpredictable but it can lead to shortness of breath, abnormal heart rhythms and heart failure. It's quite rare, but having a relative with ARVC can increase your chances of developing it.

Need to know

  • Symptoms of arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy icon plus

    Many people with ARVC experience no symptoms. Others do. These symptoms tend to get worse over the time. These symptoms might include:

    • shortness of breath when lying down or during physical exertion
    • swelling in the legs and other areas
    • heart palpitations with unpleasant awareness of the heartbeat
    • dizziness
    • fainting
    • chest pain
    • fatigue
    • persistent cough

    Unfortunately, there might not be any symptoms before arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy causes an untimely death. So, if you have a relative with the condition it may be beneficial to have a consultation.

  • Diagnosis icon plus

    If your consultant thinks you might you have ARVC, there are a number of tests available. A Holter monitor is the main way to detect heart rhythm problems. Other tests include:

    • an electrocardiogram (ECG)
    • an echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart)
    • exercise ECG testing to evaluate your heart's rhythm during physical exertion
    • cardiac MRI to provide detailed images of your heart's structure
    • angiography to analyse your heart's vessels
    • an electrophysiology study to carry out further analysis of heart rhythm
  • Potential treatment options icon plus

    With world-class cardiac facilities, we're able to offer effective treatments for arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy. If you're diagnosed with ARVC, your cardiology consultant will discuss your treatment options with you. These might include:

    • catheter ablation
    • having an implantable cardioverter defibrillator fitted
    • medicines to control your heart's beats and rhythms
    • medicines to help stop abnormal heart rhythms
    • pills to reduce fluid retention
    • medicines to reduce your heart's workload
    • blood thinners to prevent blood clots
Consultant in theatres

Our consultants

We're proud to work with leading experts across a range of medical fields, whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion. 

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street


    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street


    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

Request an appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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