Prevalence and significance of an isolated long QT interval in elite athletes

Sandeep Basavarajaiah, Matthew Wilson, Gregory Whyte, Ajay Shah, Elijah Behr, Sanjay Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

80 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Identification of a prolonged, corrected QT (QTc) interval in athletes may be a recommendation for disqualification from competitive sports. However, the prevalence and diagnostic significance of an isolated prolonged QTc in asymptomatic athletes without familial disease is unknown. Methods and results: Between 1996 and 2006, 2000 elite athletes (mean age, 20.2 years) underwent 12-lead ECG and 2-D echocardiography. The QT interval was corrected for heart rate (QTc). Athletes with QTc > 460 ms underwent 48 h Holter monitor and an exercise stress test. All athletes with a prolonged QTc interval were offered genetic testing and first-degree relatives were invited for ECG. The QTc was prolonged in seven (0.4%) athletes ranging from 460 to 570 ms. Three athletes had a QTc value of >500 ms and all exhibited one of: paradoxical prolongation of QTc during exercise, a confirmatory genetic mutation, or prolonged QTc in a first-degree relative. In contrast, none of the athletes with a QTc value of <500 ms had any other features to indicate long QT syndrome (LQTS). Conclusion: The prevalence of prolonged QTc in elite athletes is 0.4%. A QTc of >500 ms is highly suggestive of LQTS. A QTc of <500 ms in the absence of symptoms or familial disease is unlikely to represent LQTS in elite athletes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2944-2949
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Volume28
Issue number23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes

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Athletes
Exercise Test
Electrocardiography
Genetic Testing
Sports
Echocardiography
Heart Rate
Exercise
Mutation

Cite this

Basavarajaiah, S., Wilson, M., Whyte, G., Shah, A., Behr, E., & Sharma, S. (2007). Prevalence and significance of an isolated long QT interval in elite athletes. European Heart Journal, 28(23), 2944-2949. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehm404
Basavarajaiah, Sandeep ; Wilson, Matthew ; Whyte, Gregory ; Shah, Ajay ; Behr, Elijah ; Sharma, Sanjay. / Prevalence and significance of an isolated long QT interval in elite athletes. In: European Heart Journal. 2007 ; Vol. 28, No. 23. pp. 2944-2949.
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abstract = "Aims: Identification of a prolonged, corrected QT (QTc) interval in athletes may be a recommendation for disqualification from competitive sports. However, the prevalence and diagnostic significance of an isolated prolonged QTc in asymptomatic athletes without familial disease is unknown. Methods and results: Between 1996 and 2006, 2000 elite athletes (mean age, 20.2 years) underwent 12-lead ECG and 2-D echocardiography. The QT interval was corrected for heart rate (QTc). Athletes with QTc > 460 ms underwent 48 h Holter monitor and an exercise stress test. All athletes with a prolonged QTc interval were offered genetic testing and first-degree relatives were invited for ECG. The QTc was prolonged in seven (0.4{\%}) athletes ranging from 460 to 570 ms. Three athletes had a QTc value of >500 ms and all exhibited one of: paradoxical prolongation of QTc during exercise, a confirmatory genetic mutation, or prolonged QTc in a first-degree relative. In contrast, none of the athletes with a QTc value of <500 ms had any other features to indicate long QT syndrome (LQTS). Conclusion: The prevalence of prolonged QTc in elite athletes is 0.4{\%}. A QTc of >500 ms is highly suggestive of LQTS. A QTc of <500 ms in the absence of symptoms or familial disease is unlikely to represent LQTS in elite athletes.",
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Basavarajaiah, S, Wilson, M, Whyte, G, Shah, A, Behr, E & Sharma, S 2007, 'Prevalence and significance of an isolated long QT interval in elite athletes', European Heart Journal, vol. 28, no. 23, pp. 2944-2949. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehm404

Prevalence and significance of an isolated long QT interval in elite athletes. / Basavarajaiah, Sandeep; Wilson, Matthew; Whyte, Gregory; Shah, Ajay; Behr, Elijah; Sharma, Sanjay.

In: European Heart Journal, Vol. 28, No. 23, 12.2007, p. 2944-2949.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Basavarajaiah S, Wilson M, Whyte G, Shah A, Behr E, Sharma S. Prevalence and significance of an isolated long QT interval in elite athletes. European Heart Journal. 2007 Dec;28(23):2944-2949. https://doi.org/10.1093/eurheartj/ehm404