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Imaging the athlete’s heart: anatomical and functional 

Imaging the athlete’s heart: anatomical and functional

Antonio Pelliccia

, Hein Heidbuchel

, Domenico Corrado

, Mats Börjesson

, and Sanjay Sharma

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date: 25 October 2021

Echocardiography is the most important imaging technique for the characterization of athlete’s heart as it allows evaluation of morphological and functional cardiac adaptations induced by exercise. It is usually performed when abnormalities are found on clinical examination and/or on resting or stress echocardiograms, and is particularly helpful for differential diagnosis of pathological conditions at risk for sudden cardiac death such as hypertrophic, dilated, arrhythmogenic, or non-compaction cardiomyopathies. This chapter reviews useful methods for performing a standard echocardiographic examination in competitive athletes and for correct interpretation of findings by discussing determinants and upper limits of cardiac adaptations, reference values, and specific clues for the differential diagnosis of pathological conditions.

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