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Medicina dello Sport 2017 June;70(2):191-9

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.17.03141-6

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Ventricular premature beats prevalence in young Italian athletes: an observational study

Eliana TRANCHITA , Carlo MINGANTI, Paolo BORRIONE, Attilio PARISI

Unit of Health Sciences, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome Foro Italico, Rome, Italy


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BACKGROUND: Isolated ventricular premature beats (VPBs) are commonly found during pre-participation screening in athletes. This study evaluated the prevalence of VPBs in a population of young Italian competitive athletes who underwent pre-participation screening for eligibility.
METHODS: Preparticipation screening involved 4263 consecutive subjects. Athletes who showed VPBs were selected and underwent second level evaluation composed by Echocardiogram, 24 h Holter ECG and Maximal Exercise Test in order to exclude the presence of a concealed cardiomyopathy.
RESULTS: Of the whole population, 4.19% showed ventricular arrhythmias, 82% of the subjects showed isolated VPBs, 90% of the subjects showed monomorphic VPBs. At echocardiogram there was not any pathology which contraindicated competitive sport activity. At 24 h Holter ECG recording mean number of daily VPBs was 1101±2693 (range 0-16678). Most of the athletes showed a benign behavior of arrhythmias during Maximal Exercise Test.
CONCLUSIONS: In competitive asymptomatic athletes who showed ventricular arrhythmias during pre-participation screening, we found mostly isolated frequent and monomorphic ventricular arrhythmias in a healthy heart without a structural cardiomyopathy. It will be important to re-evaluate these athletes to prove the benign behavior of ventricular arrhythmias while athletes continue practicing competitive sport.


KEY WORDS: Mass screening - Arrhythmias, cardiac - Death, sudden - Sport

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