Detection of Cardiovascular Disease in Elite Athletes Using Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
ABSTRACT Purpose: Sudden cardiac death [SCD] in competitive athletes is caused by a diverse set of cardiovascular diseases such as hypertrophic and dilated cardiomyopathy [HCM/DCM], myocarditis, coronary anomalies or even coronary artery disease. In order to identify potential risk factors responsible for SCD, elite athletes underwent cardiac magnetic resonance [CMR] imaging.Materials and Methods: 73 male [M] and 22 female [F] athletes (mean age 35.2 ± 11.4 years) underwent CMR imaging. ECG-gated breath-hold cine SSFP sequences were used for the evaluation of wall motion abnormalities and myocardial hypertrophy as well as for quantitative analysis (left and right ventricular [LV, RV] end-diastolic and end-systolic volume [EDV, ESV], stroke volume [SV], ejection fraction [EF] and myocardial mass [MM]). Furthermore, left and right atrial sizes were assessed by planimetry and delayed enhancement imaging was performed 10 minutes after the application of contrast agent. Coronary arteries were depicted using free-breathing Flash-3 D MR angiography.Results: The quantitative analyses showed eccentric hypertrophy of the left ventricle (remodeling index [MM/LV-EDV]: M 0.75, F 0.665), enlargement of the RV volumes (RV-EDV: M 122.6 ± 19.0 ml/m², F 99.9 ± 7.2 ml/m²) and an increased SV (LV-SV: M 64.7 ± 10.0 ml/m², F 56.5 ± 5.7 ml/m²; RV-SV; M 66.7 ± 10.4 ml/m², F 54.2 ± 7.1 ml/m²). Abnormal findings were detected in 6 athletes (6.3 %) including one benign variant of coronary anomaly and abnormal late gadolinium enhancement in 2 cases. None of the athletes showed wall motion abnormalities or signs of myocardial ischemia.Conclusion: CMR imaging of endurance athletes revealed abnormal findings in more than 5 % of the athletes. However, the prognostic significance remains unclear. Thus, cardiac MRI cannot be recommended as a routine examination in the care of athletes.Key points:Citation Format:
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ABSTRACT: To investigate the pathologic substrates of sudden death in young competitive athletes. Twenty-two cases of sudden death in young competitive athletes occurring in the Veneto region (northern Italy) in the period January 1979 to December 1989 were studied by postmortem examination. The athletes included 19 males and three females, ranging in age from 11 to 35 years (mean, 23 years). In 18 cases, sudden death occurred during (16 cases) or immediately after (two cases) a competitive sport activity. In 10 subjects, sudden death was apparently the first sign of disease. Postmortem examination disclosed that this fatality was due to arrhythmic cardiac arrest in 17 cases; among these, right ventricular cardiomyopathy, also known as "right ventricular dysplasia," was the most frequently encountered cardiovascular disease (six cases), followed by atherosclerotic coronary artery disease (four cases), conduction system pathology (three cases), anomalous origin of right coronary artery from the wrong aortic sinus (two cases), and mitral valve prolapse (two cases). In two athletes, the abrupt lethal complication was "mechanical" and consisted of pulmonary embolism and rupture of the aorta; in three athletes, death was due to a cerebral cause. All athletes with right ventricular cardiomyopathy died during effort, and most had a history of palpitations and/or syncope. Whenever available, electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings showed inverted T waves in precordial leads and/or left bundle branch block ventricular arrhythmias. Clinicopathologic correlations indicate that in the Veneto region of Italy, right ventricular cardiomyopathy is not so rare among the cardiovascular diseases associated with the risk of arrhythmic cardiac arrest, and seems to account for the majority of cases of sudden death in young athletes; this disorder can be suspected during life on the basis of prodromal symptoms and ECG signs.The American Journal of Medicine 12/1990; 89(5):588-96. · 5.30 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Hypertrophy of the left ventricular myocardium is a common finding and can be reliably detected by echocardiography, CT and MRI. Common causes include diseases associated with increased cardiac afterload as well as primary and secondary cardiomyopathy. With the opportunity to determine functional parameters and myocardial mass precisely as well as to detect structural changes of the cardiac muscle simultaneously, cardiac MRI is the most precise imaging method for quantifying left ventricular hypertrophy as well as determining the cause and the exact characterization of the myocardial changes. It is mandatory, however, to create a flexible, individually adapted examination protocol. This review presents useful diagnostic algorithms in relation to different underlying pathologies in patients with left ventricular hypertrophy.RöFo - Fortschritte auf dem Gebiet der R 06/2012; 184(8):697-705. · 2.76 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: For more than 20 years in Italy, young athletes have been screened before participating in competitive sports. We assessed whether this strategy results in the prevention of sudden death from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a common cardiovascular cause of death in young athletes. We prospectively studied sudden deaths among athletes and nonathletes (35 years of age or less) in the Veneto region of Italy from 1979 to 1996. The causes of sudden death in both populations were compared, and the pathological findings in the athletes were related to their clinical histories and electrocardiograms. Cardiovascular reasons for disqualification from participation in sports were investigated and follow-up was performed in a consecutive series of 33,735 young athletes who underwent preparticipation screening in Padua during the same period. Of 269 sudden deaths in young people, 49 occurred in competitive athletes (44 male and 5 female athletes; mean age, 23+/-7 years). The most common causes of sudden death in athletes were arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (22.4 percent), coronary atherosclerosis (18.4 percent), and anomalous origin of a coronary artery (12.2 percent). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy caused only 1 sudden death among the athletes (2.0 percent) but caused 16 sudden deaths in the nonathletes (7.3 percent). Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was detected in 22 athletes (0.07 percent) at preparticipation screening and accounted for 3.5 percent of the cardiovascular reasons for disqualification. None of the disqualified athletes with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy died during a mean follow-up period of 8.2+/-5 years. The results show that hypertrophic cardiomyopathy was an uncommon cause of death in these young competitive athletes and suggest that the identification and disqualification of affected athletes at screening before participation in competitive sports may have prevented sudden death.New England Journal of Medicine 09/1998; 339(6):364-9. · 54.42 Impact Factor