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Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 2016 Jul;9(7). pii: e004229. doi: 10.1161/CIRCEP.116.004229.

Nonischemic Left Ventricular Scar as a Substrate of Life-Threatening Ventricular Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death in Competitive Athletes.

Author information

1
From the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Sciences (A.Z., M.P.M., I.R., M.D.L., A.S., A.N., K.P., F.M., S.R., C.B., B.B., S.I., G.T., D.C.) and Division of Radiology, Department of Medicine (B.G.), University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Department of Radiology, Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova, Padova, Italy (G.D.C.); Center for Sports Medicine, Treviso, Italy (P.S.); Unidad de Cardiologica del Deporte, Hospital Universitario Quiron, Madrid, Spain (L.S.); U.O. Cardiologia, Ospedale B.Ramazzini, Carpi (MO), Italy (G.P., E.D.M.); Center for Sports Medicine, CONI, Rome, Italy (A.P.); and Center for Sports Medicine, Padova, Italy (M.S.).
2
From the Department of Cardiac, Thoracic, and Vascular Sciences (A.Z., M.P.M., I.R., M.D.L., A.S., A.N., K.P., F.M., S.R., C.B., B.B., S.I., G.T., D.C.) and Division of Radiology, Department of Medicine (B.G.), University of Padova, Padova, Italy; Department of Radiology, Azienda Ospedaliera di Padova, Padova, Italy (G.D.C.); Center for Sports Medicine, Treviso, Italy (P.S.); Unidad de Cardiologica del Deporte, Hospital Universitario Quiron, Madrid, Spain (L.S.); U.O. Cardiologia, Ospedale B.Ramazzini, Carpi (MO), Italy (G.P., E.D.M.); Center for Sports Medicine, CONI, Rome, Italy (A.P.); and Center for Sports Medicine, Padova, Italy (M.S.). domenico.corrado@unipd.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The clinical profile and arrhythmic outcome of competitive athletes with isolated nonischemic left ventricular (LV) scar as evidenced by contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance remain to be elucidated.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

We compared 35 athletes (80% men, age: 14-48 years) with ventricular arrhythmias and isolated LV subepicardial/midmyocardial late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) on contrast-enhanced cardiac magnetic resonance (group A) with 38 athletes with ventricular arrhythmias and no LGE (group B) and 40 healthy control athletes (group C). A stria LGE pattern with subepicardial/midmyocardial distribution, mostly involving the lateral LV wall, was found in 27 (77%) of group A versus 0 controls (group C; P<0.001), whereas a spotty pattern of LGE localized at the junction of the right ventricle to the septum was respectively observed in 11 (31%) versus 10 (25%; P=0.52). All athletes with stria pattern showed ventricular arrhythmias with a predominant right bundle branch block morphology, 13 of 27 (48%) showed ECG repolarization abnormalities, and 5 of 27 (19%) showed echocardiographic hypokinesis of the lateral LV wall. The majority of athletes with no or spotty LGE pattern had ventricular arrhythmias with a predominant left bundle branch block morphology and no ECG or echocardiographic abnormalities. During a follow-up of 38±25 months, 6 of 27 (22%) athletes with stria pattern experienced malignant arrhythmic events such as appropriate implantable cardiac defibrillator shock (n=4), sustained ventricular tachycardia (n=1), or sudden death (n=1), compared with none of athletes with no or LGE spotty pattern and controls.

CONCLUSIONS:

Isolated nonischemic LV LGE with a stria pattern may be associated with life-threatening arrhythmias and sudden death in the athlete. Because of its subepicardial/midmyocardial location, LV scar is often not detected by echocardiography.

KEYWORDS:

athletes; cardiomyopathy; myocarditis; sport; sudden death

PMID:
27390211
PMCID:
PMC4956679
DOI:
10.1161/CIRCEP.116.004229
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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