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Eur J Cardiovasc Prev Rehabil. 2008 Feb;15(1):95-103. doi: 10.1097/HJR.0b013e3282ef9973.

Recommendations for the management of individuals with acquired valvular heart diseases who are involved in leisure-time physical activities or competitive sports.

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Department of Cardiology, Heart and Diabetes Center North Rhine-Westphalia, Ruhr University Bochum, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany.


Physical check-ups among athletes with valvular heart disease are of significant relevance. In athletes with mitral valve stenosis the extent of allowed physical activity is dependant on the size of the left atrium and the severity of the valve defect. Patients with mild-to-moderate mitral valve regurgitation can participate in all types of sport associated with low and moderate isometric stress and moderate dynamic stress. Patients under anticoagulation should not participate in any type of contact sport. Asymptomatic athletes with mild aortic valve stenosis can take part in all types of sport, as long as left ventricular function and size are normal, a normal response to exercise at the level performed during athletic activities is present and there are no arrhythmias. Asymptomatic athletes with moderate aortic valve stenosis should only take part in sports with low dynamic and static stress. Aortic valve regurgitation is often present due to connective tissue disease of a bicuspid valve. Athletes with mild aortic valve regurgitation, with normal end diastolic left ventricular size and systolic function can participate in all types of sport. A mitral valve prolapse is often associated with structural diseases of the myocardium and endocardium. In patients with mitral valve prolapse Holter-ECG monitoring should also be performed to detect significant arrhythmias. All athletes with known valvular heart disease, a previous history of infective endocarditis and valve surgery should receive endocarditis prophylaxis before dental, oral, respiratory, intestinal and genitourinary procedures associated with bacteraemia. Sport activities have to be avoided during active infection with fever.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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