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A 27-year-old Caucasian male professional rugby player with signs of decompensated heart failure

Sabiha Gati, Sports Cardiology Quiz Section Editor

Rehabilitation and Sports Cardiology

The case

A 27-year-old Caucasian male professional rugby player was admitted to his local district general hospital with signs and symptoms of decompensated heart failure.

He admitted to regularly taking cocaine and performance enhancing steroids. He had no other significant past medical history.

  • His ECG showed atrial fibrillation (AF), (Figure 1).
  • A transthoracic echocardiogram revealed bi-atrial dilatation and a dilated left ventricle (LV) with moderate to severe LV systolic dysfunction.
  • He was acutely managed with intravenous diuretics and initiated on evidence-based heart failure medications including beta-blockers and angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors.
  • Once stabilised he was discharged on bisoprolol 2.5 mg, ramipril 5 mg and rivaroxaban, a non-vitamin K antagonist.

In view of his drug history a diagnosis of drug-induced dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) was made.

Figure 1: Admission ECG showing atrial fibrillation

Figure 1: Admission ECG showing atrial fibrillation



Test your knowledge


Case report

Read also the corresponding case report:

"Game changer? A sporting indication to implant a left atrial appendage closure device in a rugby player with atrial fibrillation: A case report" by Andre Briosa e Gala, Andrew Cox, Michael Pope and Timothy R Betts
European Heart Journal - Case Reports, doi:10.1093/ehjcr/ytz242

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Note: The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and may not be accepted by others. While every attempt is made to keep the information up to date, there is always going to be a lag in updating information. The reader is encouraged to read this in conjunction with appropriate ESC Guidelines. The material on this page is for educational purposes and is not for use as a definitive management strategy in the care of patients. Quiz material in the site are only examples and do not guarantee outcomes from formal examinations.


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Notes to editor

Authors information:

Dr. Andre Briosa e Gala, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dr. Andrew Cox, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Dr. Tim Betts, Oxford University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust