ECG diagnostics in competitive athletes : Current implications for preparticipation screening.
Summary of "ECG diagnostics in competitive athletes : Current implications for preparticipation screening."
In young competitive athletes sudden cardiac death frequently occurs as a tragic first manifestation of clinically inapparent underlying structural or electrical cardiac disorders. An increased risk may be reflected by typical electrocardiogram (ECG) alterations preceding symptoms but a correct interpretation is often challenging due to a high prevalence of training-related ECG alterations in competitive athletes mimicking such disorders. Misinterpretation may thus result in either unnecessary disqualification from competitive sports or continuation despite an increased risk or extensive diagnostic work-ups yielding additional equivocal findings. However, as observed in large athlete cohorts in recent years a variety of ECG alterations, such as isolated increased QRS voltage, early repolarization, sinus bradycardia, first degree AV block or incomplete right bundle branch block, represent common variants of ECGs of athletes reflecting physiological and training-related cardiac adaptations. These alterations do not usually require further diagnostic evaluation. In contrast, alterations such as repolarization abnormalities, complete bundle branch block, prolonged QT intervals or pathological Q waves, are strongly suggestive of underlying disorders and require further evaluation even in asymptomatic athletes. Thus, the ECG plays a pivotal role in the prevention of sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes. The present article summarizes current recommendations for the interpretation of athlete ECGs regarding the differentiation between physiological or pathological cardiac adaptation.
Präventive und Rehabilitative Sportmedizin, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technische Universität, Georg-Brauchle-Ring 56 (Campus C), 80992, München, Deutschland, email@example.com.
This article was published in the following journal.
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22695724
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00059-012-3636-7
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