Current Criteria for Evaluation of Athletes with Arrhythmias

  • F. Furlanello
  • A. Bertoldi
  • F. Fernando


Cardiac arrhythmias represent a very important and complicated clinical condition especially when one has to consider the eligibility of a subject to take part in competitive sport activities [1,2]. This is so for a series of reasons:
  1. 1.

    Arrhythmias represent 25–35% of the cardiovascular causes of non eligibility of an athlete after 1st level evaluation and therefore request further investigations (1st level evaluation is that requested annually by Italian law for anyone to take part in competitive sport activities. It involves family and personal history, cardiological evaluation, resting ECG, step test, urine test, spirometry).

  2. 2.
    They are the cause of important sports related symptoms of varying severity,
    1. a)

      Not potentially dangerous but sufficient to disturb athletic performance and at times the athlete’s sports career, due to excessive bradycardia or tachycardia especially if sudden, long lasting and recurrent. Examples are abrupt and long lasting rhythmic or arrhythmic cardiopalmus due to re-entrant supraventricular tachyarrhythmia, junctional or atrial or atrio ventricular (due to manifest or concealed WPW), cathecolamine or vagal induced atrial fibrillation, sinus bradyarrhythmias (SA) or recovery AV, “incessant” supraventricular and ventricular tachyarrhythmias, prolonged bigeminism usually present at medium and low intensity exercise.



Cardiac Arrhythmia Sport Activity Mitral Valve Prolapse Ventricular Ectopic Beat Supraventricular Tachyarrhythmia 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Furlanello
    • 1
  • A. Bertoldi
    • 2
  • F. Fernando
    • 3
  1. 1.San Raffaele Scientific InstituteMilanItaly
  2. 2.Division of CardiologyS. Chiara HospitalTrentoItaly
  3. 3.Sport Sciences InstituteItalian National Olympic CommitteeRomeItaly

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