Abnormal electrocardiographic findings in athletes: Recognising changes suggestive of primary electrical disease

Jonathan A. Drezner, Michael John Ackerman, Bryan C. Cannon, Domenico Corrado, Hein Heidbuchel, Jordan M. Prutkin, Jack C. Salerno, Jeffrey Anderson, Euan Ashley, Chad A. Asplund, Aaron L. Baggish, Mats Börjesson, John P. DiFiori, Peter Fischbach, Victor Froelicher, Kimberly G. Harmon, Joseph Marek, David S. Owens, Stephen Paul, Antonio PellicciaChristian M. Schmied, Sanjay Sharma, Ricardo Stein, Victoria L. Vetter, Mathew G. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

86 Scopus citations


Cardiac channelopathies are potentially lethal inherited arrhythmia syndromes and an important cause of sudden cardiac death (SCD) in young athletes. Other cardiac rhythm and conduction disturbances also may indicate the presence of an underlying cardiac disorder. The 12-lead ECG is utilised as both a screening and a diagnostic tool for detecting conditions associated with SCD. Fundamental to the appropriate evaluation of athletes undergoing ECG is an understanding of the ECG findings that may indicate the presence of a pathological cardiac disease. This article describes ECG findings present in primary electrical diseases afflicting young athletes and outlines appropriate steps for further evaluation of these ECG abnormalities. The ECG findings defined as abnormal in athletes were established by an international consensus panel of experts in sports cardiology and sports medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)153-167
Number of pages15
JournalBritish Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 2013


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

Cite this

Drezner, J. A., Ackerman, M. J., Cannon, B. C., Corrado, D., Heidbuchel, H., Prutkin, J. M., Salerno, J. C., Anderson, J., Ashley, E., Asplund, C. A., Baggish, A. L., Börjesson, M., DiFiori, J. P., Fischbach, P., Froelicher, V., Harmon, K. G., Marek, J., Owens, D. S., Paul, S., ... Wilson, M. G. (2013). Abnormal electrocardiographic findings in athletes: Recognising changes suggestive of primary electrical disease. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(3), 153-167. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjsports-2012-092070