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Biventricular non-compaction with predominant right ventricular involvement, reduced left ventricular systolic and diastolic function, and pulmonary hypertension in a Hispanic male

Mistake in diagnosis, Diagnostic / therapeutic accidents, Unusual setting of medical care, Rare disease, Congenital defects / diseases, Educational Purpose (only if useful for a systematic review or synthesis)

Sarmad Said, Chad J. Cooper, Karla Quevedo, Emmanuel Rodriguez, German T. Hernandez

USA Department of Internal Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, El Paso, USA

Am J Case Rep 2013; 14:539-542

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.889676

Available online:

Published: 2013-12-13


Background: Non-compaction cardiomyopathy (NCM) is a rare congenital cardiomyopathy characterized by increased trabeculation in one or more segments of the ventricle. The left ventricle is most commonly affected. However, biventricular involvement or right ventricle predominance has also been described. Clinical features of NCM are non-specific and can range from being asymptomatic to symptoms of congestive heart failure, arrhythmia, and systemic thromboembolism.
Case Report: A 22-year-old Hispanic male presented with two month history of chest discomfort. Laboratory workup revealed an elevated brain-natriuretic-peptide of 1768 pg/ml. ECG and chest x-ray was nonspecific. Transthoracic echocardiogram revealed prominent trabeculae and spongiform appearance of the left ventricle (LV) with an ejection-fraction of 15–20%; 5 of 9 segments of the LV were trabeculated with deep intertrabecular recesses also involving the right ventricle (RV) with demonstrated blood flow in these recesses on color-doppler. The biventricular spongiform appearance was morphologically suggestive for NCM with involvement of the RV. Confirmatory cardiac MRI was performed, demonstrating excessive trabeculation of the left-ventricular apex and mid-ventricular segments. Hypertrabecularion was exhibited at the apical and lateral wall of the RV. Cardiac catheterization showed an intact cardiac vessel system. The patient was discharged on heart failure treatment and was placed on the heart transplantation list.
Conclusions: NCM is a unique disorder resulting in serious and severe complications. The majority of the reported cases describe the involvement of the left ventricle. However, the right ventricle should be taken into careful consideration. The early diagnosis may help to increase the event-free survival.

Keywords: trabeculation, dilated cardiomyopathy, Biventricular noncompaction