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Diagnosis

It is often difficult to diagnose ARVD, as there is no one test that can definitively make or rule out the diagnosis. Your doctor will take your medical history and ask about your family history. A number of tests may need to be run. These may include:

Electrocardiogram

This is a painless, noninvasive test in which patches with electrodes are attached to your skin to measure electrical impulses produced by your heart.

These impulses are recorded as waves displayed on a monitor or printed out on graph paper.

Stress Test

During a stress test, you exercise to make your heart work hard and beat fast while heart tests are done. The test can reveal abnormal changes to your heart rate or blood pressure, symptoms such as shortness of breath, or abnormal changes to your heart's electrical activity. Sometimes, the test is given using a radioactive dye, sound waves, or other imaging devices to take pictures of your heart when it's working hard and when it is resting.

Echocardiogram

This test uses sound waves to create a moving picture of your heart. An echocardiogram provides information about the size and shape of your heart and how well your heart chambers and valves are functioning. The test also can identify areas of poor blood flow to the heart, areas of heart muscle that aren't contracting normally, and previous injury to the heart muscle caused by poor blood flow. The test is noninvasive and is performed by placing a probe on your chest wall. It is the same technique used in sonograms in pregnant women.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

This test scans the body using magnetic fields to create computer images of the body's soft tissues.

Holter Monitor

This portable device records all of your heartbeats over an extended period, usually either 24 or 48 hours. You wear small patches with electrodes on your chest that are connected by wires to a small, portable recorder. The recorder can be clipped to a belt, kept in a pocket, or hung around your neck. During the time you're wearing a Holter monitor, you do your usual daily activities.

Contact Information

Cardiovascular Medicine
Division of the CardioVascular Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
617-667-8800

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