alexa Long-term effect of continuing sports activity in competitive athletes with frequent ventricular premature complexes and apparently normal heart


Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

Author(s): Delise P

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The long-term outcome of athletes with frequent ventricular premature complexes (VPCs) and apparently normal heart has not been fully clarified. To evaluate the clinical and prognostic significance of VPCs and the influence of continuing sports activity during follow-up, we studied 120 healthy athletes (96 men; median age 16 years) in whom frequent VPCs (>100 VPCs/24 hours) were discovered by chance during preparticipation screening. All athletes were followed up for a median of 84 months. During follow-up, 96 underwent serial 24-hour Holter recording and 62 underwent serial echocardiography. The median number of VPCs/24 hours on basal Holter was 3,760. During follow-up, 81 athletes continued sports activity, whereas 39 did not. No athlete died or developed overt heart disease. The median number of VPCs/24 hours decreased in both athletes who continued sports activity and those who did not (from 3,805 to 1,124, p <0.0001 and from 5,787 to 1,298, p <0.0001, respectively). During follow-up, left ventricular ejection fraction slightly decreased to <55% in 9 of 62 athletes who, in respect to the remaining 53, had more VPCs/24 hours both in the basal state (12,000 vs 3,880) and during follow-up (10,702 vs 1,368), and a longer follow-up (95 vs 36 months). In conclusion, (1) frequent VPCs in athletes without heart disease have a long-term benign prognostic significance, (2) sporting activity does not modify this benign outcome, (3) during follow-up, the burden of VPCs decreases whether or not subjects continue sports activity, and (4) in 14.5% of athletes, ejection fraction slightly decreases over time.

This article was published in Am J Cardiol and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology

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