Category

cardiology

Category
The actual significance and definition of hypertensive response to exercise (HRE) is still debated. Up to now, there is consensus in defining it as a systolic blood pressure value of either ≥ 210 mmHg in men and ≥ 190 mmHg in women or a diastolic blood pressure ≥ 110 mmHg during maximal exercise stress test. The mechanisms underlying an exaggerated blood pressure response to exercise are poorly understood; however, there are studies suggesting that HRE may represent a preclinical stadium of essential hypertension, which shares several common pathological mechanisms mostly related to an endothelial dysfunction and vascular stiffness.
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Myocarditis is defined as an inflammation of the heart muscle and its presentation, especially in athletes, is heterogeneous. Underlying causes include in most of the cases viruses, and less often bacteria, toxins, vasculitic diseases or pharmaceutical agents. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) imaging is the primary imaging tool to diagnose myocarditis following laboratory test, electrocardiogram and echocardiography. In certain cases, endomyocardial biopsy is required, especially in unclear cases with reduced systolic left ventricular ejection fraction.
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Sudden death of an athlete is the most devastating medical event in sports. While accidents account for more than 50% of these cases, sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) are less frequent (approx. 15%), but the leading medical cause of deaths. The risk depends on age, sex, ethnicity, type of sport and sport level. There are large variations in the methods of registration of SCD in recreational and competitive sports. This must be taken into account when interpreting reported incidences and causes. High data quality in registries is a prerequisite for meaningful preventive strategies (e.g. ECG screening and safety at sports facilities).
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Through continuous improvement of diagnostic accuracy of ECG criteria for athletes sensitivity as well as specificity have grown so much that foregoing this screening tool is not feasible anymore. The most updated guidelines, the so-called “International (Seattle) Criteria” globally exhibit the most important reference publication, currently. The criteria were created with the purpose that particularly “non-cardiologists” should be able to use them before clearly pathological findings lead to further follow-up examinations at a specialist. On the other hand, physiologic ECG findings should not prompt expensive further evaluations, as it used to happen quite frequently.
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Traditionally, cardiovascular screening has been recommended mostly for competitive athletes younger than 35 years. The perception that only young competitive athletes at top level are at increased risk, has changed in the last years. Theoretically, we advocate a voluntary cardiovascular screening for all athletes who exercise vigorously, independent of their competitive status, and age. Although, this should be based on an individual estimation of the athlete’s risk. Physical examination, medical history and an ECG should be the baseline investigations for all athletes.
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In cardiopulmonary exercise testing with children and adolescents, age specific protocols are used together with tools adjustable to their body dimension and development. Assessing weight, height und pubertal stage is a prerequisite for the interpretation of every test. Indications for exercise testing are airway symptoms and findings limited performance, chronic diseases, planning of trainings and scientific studies. The more tests are standardized and used on a large scale, the more normal values are available to compare individual results. However, the interindividual variability of measured values is high, depending as much from the developmental stage of the individual as from protocols, tools and the performing laboratory.
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Leisure-time and elite athletes often seek sports medical advice for inadequate exertional dyspnea and loss of performance. The work-up has to rule-out underlying cardiac pathologies that are associated with sudden cardiac death, although commonly the symptoms are training- and not disease-related. Cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) helps to differentiate between cardiac and pulmonary causes and guides further diagnostic and therapy. This article illustrates the potential of CPET in three clinical cases.
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Wenn Sportler vor laufender Kamera bei einem Wettkampf versterben, konfrontieren das die Zuschauer in besonderer Weise mit den Risiken des Sports. Die Todesfälle der Fussballer Marc-Vivien Foé am FIFA Confederations Cup 2003 und Paulo Sérgio Oliveira da Silva «Serginho» in Sao Paulo 2004, oder des kürzlich bei Paris-Roubaix verstorbenen Radrennfahrers Michael Goolaerts haben eine weltweite Welle der Betroffenheit ausgelöst. Für die Sportmedizin resultiert daraus der klare Leistungsauftrag, durch geeignete Vorsorgeuntersuchungen und Massnahmen an Wettkämpfen diese tragischen Ereignisse so gut wie möglich zu verhindern.
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During our Annual meeting of the Society for Pediatric Sports Medicine in Basel 2017 one of the highlight sessions was the PRO-CON discussion about the use of a resting ECG as screening tool to detect youth at risk for sudden cardiac death. We present the two statements of the cardiology ­experts that were finally not so controversial as the PRO-CON may suggest. Well as often in medicine, it is the choice of each of you, how to deal with the situation. On one side we are taught to know and listen to the “evidence in medicine”, but on the other side we so often end up in our traditional professional perspective as decision maker that is not always wrong …
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Background: Heart rate variability (HRV) as a measure of the cardiac autonomic nervous system activity (CANA) has the potential to tailor endurance training and may contribute to the prevention of overtraining. We aimed to investigate whether there are sex differences and sex-specific reactions of the CANA to different training periods (TPs) in Swiss elite runners. Methods: Two HRV measurements (each 5 minutes supine and 5 minutes standing) per athlete were performed, the first during preparation period (PP) and the second during competition period (CP).
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