TANYANAN TANAWUTTIWAT M.D., ANNELINE S.J.M. TE RIELE M.D., BINU PHILIPS M.D., CYNTHIA A. JAMES Ph.D., BRITTNEY MURRAY M.S., CRYSTAL TICHNELL M.G.C, ABHISHEK C. SAWANT M.D., HUGH CALKINS M.D., F.H.R.S.and HARIKRISHNA TANDRI M.D., F.H.R.S
Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Volume 27, Issue 4, pages 443–452, April 2016
Epsilon waves and other depolarization abnormalities in the right precordial leads are thought to represent delayed activation of the right ventricular outflow tract in arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C). However, no study has directly correlated cardiac electrical activation with the surface ECG findings in ARVD/C.
Methods and Results
Thirty ARVD/C patients (mean age 32.7 ± 11.2 years, 16 men) underwent endocardial and epicardial electroanatomical activation mapping in sinus rhythm. Twelve-lead ECGs were classified into 5 patterns: (1) normal QRS (11 patients); (2) terminal activation delay (TAD) (3 patients); (3) incomplete right bundle branch block (IRBBB) (5 patients); (4) epsilon wave (5 patients); (5) complete right bundle branch block (CRBBB) (6 patients). Timing of local ventricular activation and extent of scar was then correlated with surface QRS. Earliest endocardial and epicardial RV activation occurred on the mid anteroseptal wall in all patients despite the CRBBB pattern on ECG. Total RV activation times increased from normal QRS to prolonged TAD, IRBBB, epsilon wave, and CRBBB, respectively (103.9 ± 5.6, 116.3 ± 6.5, 117.8 ± 2.7, 146.4 ± 16.3, and 154.3 ± 6.3, respectively, P < 0.05). The total epicardial scar area (cm2) was similar among the different ECG patterns. Median endocardial scar burden was significantly higher in patients with epsilon waves even compared with patients with CRBBB (34.3 vs. 11.3 cm2, P < 0.01). Timing of epsilon wave corresponded to activation of the subtricuspid region in all patients.
We found that epsilon waves are often associated with severe conduction delay and extensive endocardial scarring in addition to epicardial disease. The timing of epsilon waves on surface ECG correlated with electrical activation of the sub-tricuspid region.