Role of extensive diagnostic workup in young athletes and nonathletes with complex ventricular arrhythmias

Riccardo Marano, Maurizio Genuardi, Michela Cammarano, Filippo Crea, Maria Lucia Narducci, Gemma Pelargonio, Frediano Inzani, Valeria Novelli, Francesco Perna, Gianluigi Bencardino, Gaetano Pinnacchio, Paolo Zeppilli, Giulia D'Amati

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

8 Citazioni (Scopus)


Background: Ventricular arrhythmias (VAs) are the most common cause of death in athletes. The differences in the electroanatomic substrate in athletes and nonathletes with complex VA are unknown. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the electroanatomic substrate of complex VA in athletes vs nonathletes. Methods: The study prospectively enrolled young athletes and nonathletes with VA. Patients underwent 2-dimensional echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging, coronary angiography, 3-dimensional electroanatomic mapping (3D-EAM), and 3D-EAM–guided endomyocardial biopsy (EMB). Follow-up included 24-hour electrocardiographic Holter or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator/loop recorder interrogation for VA recurrence. Results: Thirty-three patients were enrolled: 18 competitive athletes (56%) and 15 nonathletes (44%). Left ventricular and right ventricular (RV) findings by echocardiography and CMR did not show structural disease. Nine athletes (50%) were asymptomatic compared to 1 nonathlete (7%; P <.05). Unifocal origin of VA was reported in 14 athletes (93%) and 17 nonathletes (94%). Athletes showed a larger RV unipolar than bipolar scar (18 ± 17 cm2 vs 3 ± 3.8 cm2; P = .04). Diagnostic yield of EMB was 50% in athletes and 40% in nonathletes. Among athletes, the final diagnosis was myocarditis in 2, arrhythmogenic ventricular right cardiomyopathy in 1, and focal replacement fibrosis in 1. Among nonathletes, EMB revealed focal replacement fibrosis in 4 cases. At median follow-up of 18.7 months, Kaplan-Meier curves showed lower VA recurrence in detrained athletes than nonathletes (53% vs 6%; P = .02). Conclusion: This study showed the need for extensive diagnostic workup in apparently healthy young patients with complex VA in order to characterize concealed cardiomyopathies.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)230-237
Numero di pagine8
RivistaHeart Rhythm
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2020


  • 3D-EAM guided endomyocardial biopsy
  • Athletes
  • Innovative biotechnology
  • Personalized medicine
  • Ventricular arrhythmia


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