Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (ARVD) is a type of inherited cardiomyopathy that affects predominantly the right ventricle of the heart. ARVD results from the replacement of muscle in the right ventricle with fat and fibrotic tissue. This leads to decreased contraction and dilation of some or all the right ventricle. ARVD may also affect the left ventricle. The presence of fat and fibrotic tissue in the heart muscle predisposes patients with ARVD to ventricular arrhythmias. These arrhythmias cause the symptoms ARVD patients experience including palpitations, syncope (fainting), and sudden death.

ARVD is an important cause of sudden death, particularly among young athletes. ARVD affects approximately one out of every 5,000 individuals in the general population. It's possible to have the disease without knowing it. Over the last five years great strides have been made to better understand the genetic cause of ARVD. In many cases ARVD is the cause of the cardiac desmosome. The desmosome is the structure that holds the heart muscle cells together.

To learn more about ARVD and the research program at Johns Hopkins please go to