Inflammatory left ventricular microaneurysms as a cause of apparently idiopathic ventricular tachyarrhythmias

Cristina Chimenti, Fiorella Calabrese, Gaetano Thiene, Maurizio Pieroni, Attilio Maseri, Andrea Frustaci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - We sought to investigate the arrhythmogenic role, incidence, treatment, and prognosis of inflammatory left ventricular (LV) microaneurysms in patients with apparently idiopathic ventricular tachyarrhythmias. Methods and Results - We studied 156 consecutive patients (71 men, 85 women; mean age, 44.1 ± 11.8 years) with severe ventricular arrhythmias and normal 2D echo cardiac parameters by coronary and ventricular angiography, biventricular endomyocardial biopsy, and electrophysiological study. Polymerase chain reaction was used to detect genomic sequences of enterovirus, adenovirus, Epstein Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, herpes simplex viruses, influenza A and B viruses, and hepatitis C virus in frozen endomyocardial samples. Of these patients, 15 (9.6%) showed angiographic evidence of single or multiple LV microaneurysms. All 15 patients had recurrent episodes of ventricular tachycardia with right bundle-branch block morphology, and the arrhythmias originated within or close to the aneurysms in those patients (n=6) undergoing ventricular mapping. A lymphocytic myocarditis was observed in LV biopsies of all patients and in the right ventricles of 3 patients. Polymerase chain reaction analysis was performed in 12 and viral genomes were found in 5 (42%): hepatitis C virus in 2, enterovirus in 2, and influenza virus A in 1. The patients were treated with antiarrhythmics, and cardiac function was preserved for the next 47 ± 39.5 months of follow-up. No major clinical event was registered, and arrhythmias were successfully treated by antiarrhythmics. Conclusions - Inflammatory LV microaneurysms, often of viral origin, are a consistent cause of apparently idiopathic ventricular arrhythmias. Their prognosis so far has been benign, and aggressive therapeutic strategies have been unnecessary.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-173
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 10 2001


  • Aneurysm
  • Myocarditis
  • Tachyarrhythmias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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