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MEDICINA DELLO SPORT
A Journal on Sports Medicine
Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
Indexed/Abstracted in: BIOSIS Previews, EMBASE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 0,163
Medicina dello Sport 2000 September;53(3):231-7
Complete right bundle branch block in an athlete population. A 5 year retrospective analysis
Poletti G., Soldati A., Speziale F., Cellini M., Brunelli D.
Centro di Medicina dello Sport, Azienda U.S.L. Bologna Sud - Casalecchio di Reno (Bologna)
In order to detect forms of complete right bundle branch block, the authors have retrospectively analysed a population of 14,483 athletes visited at the Centre of Sports Medicine of Casalecchio di Reno for sport eligibility. Complete Right Bundle Branch block was found in 65 athletes, of an average age of 27, practising various sports. The prevalence of RxBBB was of 0.45%, mainly concerning male athletes with no relation to a particular kind of sport. The electro and echocardiographic 5 year follow up of 21 of them was examined in order to assess the relationship between this pathology and a particular sport. No cardiac pathology was found responsible for the right bundle branch block, except in 1 case of post-surgical correction of ample antrioventricular defect. All athletes were asymptomatic during the 5-year follow up and none developed complete atrioventricular block. The results obtained with electrocardiography, dynamic electrocardiography, exercise tests and ecography showed a direct relationship between complete right bundle branch block and right ventricular dimensions accordingly to sport practise: athletes who had been practising sports during the 5 year follow up showed increased right ventricular dimensions which on the contrary reduced in athletes who either stopped or diminished sport activity. No relation between complete right bundle branch block and dilated right ventricular was found. In conclusion, this study showed the benignity of complete right bundle branch block, though not relating directly to cardiovascular adaptations. No pathology was detected even in those 8 cases in which the right bundle branch block was complete and no cardiopathy or significant arrhythmias were detected in any of the examined athletes. It is important to underline that complete right bundle branch block was mainly detected in young athletes although our sample of 16 years study includes adult and senior athletes. The results obtained are very interesting; nevertheless, considering that the cause of complete right bundle branch block in no cardio-pathic athletes is still unknown, our data need enlarging in order to get more reliable scientific results.