Coronary atherosclerosis in apparently healthy master athletes discovered during pre-PARTECIPATION screening. Role of coronary CT angiography (CCTA)

Salvatore Francesco Gervasi*, Laura Palumbo, Michela Cammarano, Sebastiano Orvieto, Arianna Di Rocco, Annarita Vestri, Riccardo Marano, Giancarlo Savino, Massimiliano Bianco, Paolo Zeppilli, Vincenzo Palmieri

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivistapeer review

6 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background: Pre-participation screening (PPS) of athletes aged over 35 years (master athletes, MA) is a major concern in Sports Cardiology. In this population, sports-related sudden cardiac death is rare but usually due to coronary atherosclerosis (CA). Coronary CT Angiography (CCTA) has changed the approach to diagnosis/ management of CA, but its role in this context still needs to be assessed. Methods and results: We retrospectively examined 167 MA who underwent CCTA in our hospital since 2006, analyzing symptoms, stress-test ECG, cardiovascular risk profiles (SCORE) and CCTA findings. Among the whole enrolled population, 153 (91.6%) MA underwent CCTA for equivocal/positive stress-test ECG with/without symptoms, 13 (7.8%) just for clinical symptoms, 1 (0.6%) for the family history. The CCTA showed the presence of CA in 69 MA (41.3%), congenital coronary anomalies (anomalous origin or deep myocardial bridge) in 8 (4.8%), both in 7 (4.2%). A negative CCTA was observed in 83 MA (49.7%). The risk-SCORE (age, hypertension, hypercholesterolemia, smoking) was a good indicator for the presence ofmoderate/severe CA on CCTA. However,mild/moderate CAwas present in 17.8% ofMA clinically stratified at a low risk-SCORE. Conclusion:While coronary angiography ismore indicated in athleteswith positive stress-test ECG and high clinical risk, the CCTA may be useful in the evaluation of MAwith an abnormal stress test ECG and/or clinical symptoms engaged in competitive sports with a high cardiovascular involvement. Age, gender, presence of symptoms and clinical risk-SCORE assessment may help sports physicians and cardiologists to decide whether to request a CCTA or not.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)99-107
Numero di pagine9
RivistaInternational Journal of Cardiology
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2019


  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Competitive sports eligibility
  • Computed Tomography Angiography
  • Congenital coronary anomalies
  • Coronary Artery Disease
  • Coronary artery disease
  • Coronary atherosclerosis
  • Coronary computed tomography angiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise Test
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening
  • Master athletes
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sports


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