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06-02-2018 | Review Article | Uitgave 3/2018 Open Access

Netherlands Heart Journal 3/2018

Athletes with channelopathy may be eligible to play

Netherlands Heart Journal > Uitgave 3/2018
N. M. Panhuyzen-Goedkoop, A. A. M. Wilde


The European and Bethesda recommendations roughly state that any athlete with channelopathy is not eligible to participate in sports on a presumed risk of potentially life-threatening ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. However, eligibility decision-making on a presumed risk of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation is debatable. Channelopathies are primary electrical cardiac disorders and are usually transmitted as an autosomal dominant trait. Some of the channelopathies are potentially fatal in relation to exercise and predispose to life-threatening cardiac arrhythmias including ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation. Exercise, swimming, body heating and electrolyte depletion can all act as a trigger of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation in channelopathy. However, new research mentioned a very low incidence of ventricular tachycardia or fibrillation in athletes with channelopathy challenging the decision of disqualification. Recently, the American recommendations for sports participation in athletes with a cardiovascular disorder have updated their eligibility decision-making.
In this manuscript we describe the signature features of the electrocardiogram changes in channelopathies and we argue that new research data should allow for the introduction of more liberal eligibility decision-making for sports participation in athletes with channelopathy, not only in the United States but also in European countries.

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Netherlands Heart Journal

Het Netherlands Heart Journal wordt uitgegeven in samenwerking met de Nederlandse Vereniging voor Cardiologie en de Nederlandse Hartstichting. Het tijdschrift is Engelstalig en wordt gratis beschikbaa ...

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