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Medicina dello Sport 2002 December;55(4):305-11

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: Italian

Atrial fibrillation in a twenty-three years old male professional basketball player

Carletti M., Martegani S., Mazzoni S., Tettamanti P., Monti G.

Ambulatorio di Medicina dello Sport, Campus di Varese, Scuola di Specializzazione in Medicina dello Sport, Università degli Studi dell’Insubria, Varese


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On September 2001, a 23-year old male professional basketball player reported, during the annual medical check-up, occasional short paroxysmal palpitations during physical activity aborted by vagal manoeuvres by the age of 17.
According to the professional sport protocol ergonometry heart test, echocardiogram and thorax X-ray were carried out resulting in bicuspid aortic.
On April 2002, during a training session he had palpitations, first rhythmic then arrhythmic: the ECG showed an atrial fibrillation with 90 bpm heart rate. The following day, he went to an Emergency Department where he had antiarrhythmic therapy with no result; palpitations spontaneously disappeared the same night, at home. The heart specialist suggested an electrophysiological study and the team doctor temporarily stopped the professional sport activity for the basket ball player (temporary unsuitability).
During the electrophysiological study, an AV nodal reentrant tachycardia was found and thought to degenerate into atrial fibrillation. After slow pathway ablation, nodal tachycardia became non-inducible. Ten days later, the athlete had a new heart ergonometric test with no palpitations and arrhytmic events, so he began a progressive training program. In a two-month follow-up he didn’t refer any palpitations or arrhythmic event.

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