Interpretacja elektrokardiogramu u sportowców wyczynowych
A b s t r a c t Background: The Ministry of Health in Poland recommends electrocardiogram (ECG)-based cardiovascular screening in athletes, but so far there has been a lack of guidelines on preparticipation assessment. We compared different criteria of ECG screening assessment in a group of top-level athletes. Aim: The aims were to evaluate the prevalence of ECG changes in athletes that necessitate further cardiological work-up according to three criteria in various age groups as well as to
... s as well as to identify factors determining the occurrence of changes related and unrelated to the training. Methods: 262 high-dynamic, high-static Polish athletes (rowers, cyclists, canoeists) were divided into two age categories: young (≤ 18 years of age; n = 177, mean age 16.9 ± 0.8; 15-18 years) and elite (> 18 years of age; n = 85, mean age 22.9 ± 3.4; 19-34 years). All sports persons had a 12-lead ECG performed and evaluated according to Results: The Refined criteria reduced (p < 0.001) the number of training-unrelated ECG findings to 8.0% vs. 12.6% (Seattle criteria) and 30.5% (ESC recommendations). All three criteria revealed more training-related changes in the group of older athletes (76.5% vs. 55.9%, p = 0.001). Predictors that significantly (p < 0.005) affected the occurrence of adaptive changes were the age of the athlete, training duration (in years), and male gender. Conclusions: 1. The ESC criteria identified a group of athletes that was unacceptably large, as for the screening test, requiring verification with other methods (every fourth athlete). 2. The use of the Refined criteria helps to significantly reduce the frequency and necessity for additional tests. 3. The dependence of adaptive changes on training duration and athletes' age confirms the benign nature of those ECG findings.