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Atrial fibrillation in endurance athletes still poses problems for sports cardiologists
Date:6/21/2009

ns for sport should be implemented in an individual patient, and how best to manage arrhythmias in participants." Atrial fibrillation is the most common arrhythmic condition, and sudden cardiac death remains a risk.

Three papers presented at this congress by Dr Mont's group reflect the research effort now being directed towards sports cardiology and the prevention and treatment of rhythm disorders.

1. Efficacy of the circumferential pulmonary vein ablation of atrial fibrillation in endurance athletes. CPVA is a recently introduced technique which identifies the signals causing the atrial fibrillation and isolates their source in the pulmonary veins from the left ventricle of the heart. The technique has been successfully used in routine patients with atrial fibrillation and, according to new data presented here in Berlin, is now as effective in AF secondary to endurance sports as in other causes. A series of 182 patients in Dr Mont's Barcelona clinic found that freedom of arrhythmias following CPVA was similar in the sports participants as in the regular patients. Left atrial size and long-standing atrial fibrillation were the only independent predictors for arrhythmia recurrence after the treatment, not sports participation.

2. Deconditioning reverses expression of cardiac fibrosis markers in an animal model of endurance training. A more basic science study from Dr Mont's group in Barcelona also suggests that those with a history of arrhythmias following endurance training may benefit from a period of "deconditioning" following their efforts. The suggestion follows a study in animal models which found that markers of cardiac fibrosis in rats whose treadmill exercise was followed by a period of inactivity returned to control levels. Endurance exercise causes cardiac structural changes, including atrial and right ventricular fibrosis and this fibrosis may play a role in the development of arrhythmias. Although it has been noted that the athle
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Source:Eurekalert

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