Home > Journals > Minerva Cardioangiologica > Past Issues > Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 April;68(2) > Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 April;68(2):110-22

CURRENT ISSUE
 

JOURNAL TOOLS

eTOC
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian
 

ARTICLE TOOLS

Publication history
Reprints
Permissions
Cite this article as

 

REVIEW  SPORTS CARDIOLOGY AND EXERCISE 

Minerva Cardioangiologica 2020 April;68(2):110-22

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4725.20.05178-6

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Ventricular arrhythmias and risk stratification of cardiac sudden death in athletes

Cinzia CRESCENZI, Germana PANATTONI, Alessandra STAZI, Annamaria MARTINO, Marianna SGUEGLIA, Ermenegildo DE RUVO, Leonardo CALÒ

Division of Cardiology, Casilino Polyclinic, Rome, Italy



Sudden cardiac death (SCD) of young athletes is an unexpected and tragic event that could occur during sport activities and is frequently related to ventricular arrhythmias. Identifying athletes at risk of SCD remains a major challenge. While specific characteristics of premature ventricular contractions are considered common and benign, other “uncommon” features should require more accurate investigations, in order to determine eligibility for competitive sports. The most common type of idiopathic premature ventricular contractions originates from ventricular outflow tract and is characterized by an ECG pattern with left bundle branch block and inferior QRS axis (infundibular pattern). Another pattern associated with a good prognosis is the “fascicular” morphology, characterized by a typical right bundle branch block, superior QRS axis morphology and QRS duration <130 ms. Conversely, other morphological features (such as left bundle branch block /intermediate or superior axis or right bundle branch block/intermediate or superior axis and wide QRS) correlate to an underlying substrate. In risk stratification setting, cardiac magnetic resonance plays a key role allowing an accurate identification of myocardial tissue abnormalities, which could affect athletes’ prognosis. This review focuses on characteristics of premature ventricular contractions characteristics in terms of morphology, distribution, complexity and response to exercise and describes the possible underlying myocardial substrates. This review also critically analyzes the evaluation process of athletes with premature ventricular contractions necessary for an accurate risk stratification.


KEY WORDS: Arrhythmias, cardiac; Death, sudden, cardiac; Ventricular premature complexes

top of page