CARDIOVASCULAR ASSESSMENT IN COMPETITIVE ATHLETES: REVIEW
Ege Üniversitesi Tıp Fakültesi Spor Hekimliği Anabilim Dalı, Bornova, İzmir
Keywords: Athletes, cardiovascular assessment, sudden cardiac death
Competitive athletes are mostly regarded as a special subgroup of healthy individuals with a unique lifestyle, who are seemingly invulnerable and often capable of extraordinary physical achievement. Despite quite limited precise prevalence figures of sudden death in young athletes, its fatal outcome stimulates the necessity of careful evaluations of silent and unsuspected cardiovascular conditions. Symptoms are often normal variants of no significance, but on rare occasions a completely asymptomatic athlete with a major cardiac abnormality is identified. Therefore, the ultimate objective of preparticipation screening carried out in general populations of trained athletes is the recognition of silent cardiovascular abnormalities that can progress to or cause sudden cardiac death. This commentary was written to assess sound clinical approach in the light of ongoing debate about the content and effectiveness of cardiovascular screening of competitive athletes.