The other group found this particular pathology in our cadaver and, because they proceeded to dissect the heart and remove the abnormal fatty tissue, we did not get an opportunity to see the abnormal anatomy of the heart. We will therefore discuss this pathology mainly from research and from what the other group could tell us.
They informed us that, during the dissection of our cadaver’s heart, they discovered large amounts of fatty tissue within the heart muscle of the right ventricle, and that, after speaking to the lecturers and doing a preliminary internet search, they concluded that the abnormal anatomy of his heart correlated with that of a disease known as ...view middle of the document...
ARVD is one of the most common causes of sudden, exercise-induced death, particularly in young individuals. It may be responsible for as many as 20% of such deaths in males under the age of 30 years.[#2A.1] Although Sources differ as to the prevalence of this disease, it appears to be somewhere between 1 in 2000 and 1 in 5000 individuals.[#2A.3] Also, men are affected by ARVD more than women (This ratio may be as much as 3:1).[#2A.3]
ARVD is predominantly genetically determined,[#2A.3] although other causes may be irregular or isolated.[#2A.1] Approximately 30% of patients who present with ARVD have a family history thereof.[#2A.1]
Symptoms of ARVD include:
• Arrhythmias: These may manifest as premature ventricular contractions[#2A.2] (extra or irregular heartbeats) or sustained ventricular tachycardia[#2A.2] (rapid heartbeats originating in the ventricle that may be brief or long-lasting and cause weakness, nausea, vomiting, light-headedness and the feeling of a racing/skipping heart)
• Syncope[#2A.3] refers to a temporary loss of consciousness (fainting)
• Heart failure[#2A.3]
• Sudden cardiac arrest[#2A.3]
Diagnosis and treatment
“Diagnosis of ARVD can be difficult. Magnetic resonance imaging may be helpful in the diagnosis.”[#2A.1]
Many specific criteria are used in the diagnosis of ARVD, together with various scans and tests. Health practitioners will look, amongst other factors, at heart anomalies, structural abnormalities, the patient’s family history & genetics, and will use scans such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRIs)[#2A.1] and Electrocardiographs (ECGs)[#2A.1].
ARVD is not curable. The treatment of ARVD therefore focuses mainly on preventing sudden death and aims to help the patient cope with the “clinical burden” of their disease by relieving symptoms induced by the arrhythmias and tachycardia. This may be done using a variety of drugs although proof of the efficacy of such drugs is...