Participation in intensive athletic training and sport competition is associated with a wide spectrum of morphologic and functional cardiac adaptations known as “the athlete’s heart”.
These structural changes are usually mild compared to the age and gender matched untrained population, but in some cases, may overlap with cardiac pathologies potentially at risk for sports related cardiac arrest / sudden death.
Advances in technology have largely improved the diagnostic capabilities of the modern imaging modalities and made possible to timely identify the early manifestations of inherited cardiac diseases.
This joint position statement of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology and European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging focuses on the widely clinically implemented imaging modalities, including echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance, computed tomography, and nuclear imaging, providing the correct indications and the keys for appropriate interpretation of result, in the context of athlete’s sport discipline participated, age, race and gender.
An integrated and multi-modality approach is suggested, case-by-case, to reach diagnosis in the most relevant cardiac pathologic conditions in athletes.
Dr. Stefano Caselli, MD, PhD, FESCInstitute of Sports Medicine and Science, Rome, Italy
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