Screening of athletes: An electrocardiogram is not enough

R Skalik
Herz 2015, 40 (3): 386-94
Professional and amateur athletic training can cause tremendous overload of the cardiovascular system and thus become a trigger of serious and often fatal cardiac events in athletes with a previously undetected underlying cardiovascular disease. Therefore, every athlete should undergo a specialized diagnostic and qualification screening before a training program is prescribed or continued. However, it is still an unresolved issue which of the accessible diagnostic tools should be routinely applied in order to increase the safety of extreme physical training and reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death. Pre-participation athlete evaluation including a standard electrocardiogram (ECG), physical examination, and familial history of cardiovascular diseases is important, but does not always guarantee high diagnostic accuracy. Hence, the aim of this review article is to discuss the controversy over the usefulness of ECG for the detection of cardiovascular diseases in athletes as well as the views on athlete screening methods in Europe and the USA. Differential diagnostic options and screening schemes are also described in particular groups of athletes in reference to their age, cardiovascular risk factors, as well as intensity and type of sport discipline.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"