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Electrocardiographic abnormalities and conduction disturbances in athletes

Authors
Mark S Link, MD
Antonio Pelliccia, MD
Section Editors
Peter J Zimetbaum, MD
Ary L Goldberger, MD
Deputy Editor
Brian C Downey, MD, FACC

INTRODUCTION

Arrhythmias are frequently documented in athletes and can be a source of morbidity and mortality, particularly ventricular tachyarrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD). The two primary goals when evaluating athletes for electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities are:

To document the presence of arrhythmia and underlying structural heart disease that place the athlete at risk for SCD

To evaluate the importance of an arrhythmia in assessing the athlete's eligibility for competition

This topic will discuss electrocardiographic abnormalities and conduction disturbances and their importance in athletes. The risk of sudden death in athletes, particularly those with underlying heart disease, and the management of arrhythmia in athletes are discussed elsewhere. (See "Screening to prevent sudden cardiac death in athletes" and "Risk of sudden cardiac death in athletes" and "Arrhythmia in athletes".)

PREVALENCE AND ETIOLOGY

A broad range of electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities can be seen in trained athletes (table 1) [1-3]. The type of abnormality and whether the abnormality is related or unrelated to training impacts the decision regarding further evaluation and participation in athletics [1].

                     

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Thu Nov 19 00:00:00 GMT 2015.
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References
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