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Electrocardiographic diagnostics of cardiovascular pathology in athletes of youth sports schools

Darya Yu. Alekseeva(1,2), Elena S. Vasichkina(2), Irina Yu. Ivanova(1), Kirill N. Malikov(1,2), Ivan A. Zemskov(1), Vladimir V. Grigoryev(1) 1-St. Petersburg Center of Sports Medicine, Saint Petersburg, Russia 2-Almazov National Medical Research Center, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Objective: to evaluate the data of cardiac screening to identify cardiac pathology and determine sports participation among in athletes of Youth Sports Schools in five districts of St. Petersburg. Materials and methods: 9847 young athletes (average age 13.8 ± 4.9 years, 6127 men) were included in the study during 8 months. Clinical protocol uncluded the collection of complaints, anamnesis, family anamnesis, physical examination, ECG in 12 leads. If necessary, Holter monitoring, echocardiography, and an exercise test were performed. Results: typical ECG changes were registered in 60.4% of athletes, borderline in 0.05% and pathological in 3.69%. All athletes with pathological changes were excluded from the training and competitive process for the period of in-depth medical examination. In the end, two athletes were not allowed to continue participation in sport (2 with stressful ventricular arrhythmias). There was not any lethal outcomes for the entire period of the study. Conclusions: cardiological screening using the routine ECG method remains the main tool for identifying a possible pathological substrate and assessing the risk of sudden cardiac death. Early detection of cardiac arrhythmias and conduction disturbances allow to take measures to prevent sudden cardiac death.

Keywords: 
exercise stress, athletes, cardiac screening, rhythm and conduction disorders, ECG changes