Markers and trigger mechanisms of sudden cardiac death

Exercise and sports activity
  • F. Furlanello
  • R. Bettini
  • G. Vergara
  • A. Bertoldi
  • M. Del Greco
  • G. B. Durante
  • L. Frisanco
Part of the Developments in Cardiovascular Medicine book series (DICM, volume 110)


Exertion-related cardiac arrest and sudden death may happen both in cardiac patients and in subjects without evident heart disease. This latter group includes young athletes who are also competitive and at a high level of sports activity with asymptomatic cardiopathy [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8]. Exertion and sports activity-related cardiac arrest is typically a primary arrhythmic event [9] due to electrical destabilization of underlying heart disease or to primary arrhythmic disorders. Several reports have indicated that there is a small correlation between vigorous exercise and cardiac arrest (CA) — sudden cardiac arrhythmic death (SCAD) in the general population. This correlation ranges from 9 to 17% of all sudden death [10, 11, 12] and is about 11% of patients resuscitated from out-of hospital cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation [9]. However, in young athletes, a cardiac arrest/ SCAD is normally sports activity-related [1, 8]. In fact, serious arrhythmic patterns are possible in athletes during or immediately after athletic activity (post-exertion vulnerable period). These manifestations may cause critical symptoms and/or haemodynamic repercussions which include presyncope, syncope, hyperkinetic or hypokinetic cardiac arrest, aborted sudden death which, if not resuscitated, may lead to sudden death [2].


Cardiac Arrest Sudden Death Ventricular Tachycardia Sudden Cardiac Death Sport Activity 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. Furlanello
  • R. Bettini
  • G. Vergara
  • A. Bertoldi
  • M. Del Greco
  • G. B. Durante
  • L. Frisanco

There are no affiliations available

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