Athlete’s heart (AH) is the result of morphological and functional cardiac modifications due to long-lasting athletic training. Athletes can develop very marked structural myocardial changes, which may simulate or cover unknown cardiomyopathies. The differential diagnosis between AH and cardiomyopathy is necessary to prevent the risk of catastrophic events, such as sudden cardiac death, but it can be a challenging task. The improvement of the imaging modalities and the introduction of the new technologies in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and cardiac computed tomography (CCT) can allow overcoming this challenge. Therefore, the radiologist, specialized in cardiac imaging, could have a pivotal role in the differential diagnosis between structural adaptative changes observed in the AH and pathological anomalies of cardiomyopathies. In this review, we summarize the main CMR and CCT techniques to evaluate the cardiac morphology, function, and tissue characterization, and we analyze the imaging features of the AH and the key differences with the main cardiomyopathies.

Cardiac imaging in athlete’s heart: The role of the radiologist

Fogante M.;Agliata G.;Compagnucci P.;Volpato G.;Falanga U.;Stronati G.;Guerra F.;Casella M.;Giovagnoni A.
2021-01-01

Abstract

Athlete’s heart (AH) is the result of morphological and functional cardiac modifications due to long-lasting athletic training. Athletes can develop very marked structural myocardial changes, which may simulate or cover unknown cardiomyopathies. The differential diagnosis between AH and cardiomyopathy is necessary to prevent the risk of catastrophic events, such as sudden cardiac death, but it can be a challenging task. The improvement of the imaging modalities and the introduction of the new technologies in cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) and cardiac computed tomography (CCT) can allow overcoming this challenge. Therefore, the radiologist, specialized in cardiac imaging, could have a pivotal role in the differential diagnosis between structural adaptative changes observed in the AH and pathological anomalies of cardiomyopathies. In this review, we summarize the main CMR and CCT techniques to evaluate the cardiac morphology, function, and tissue characterization, and we analyze the imaging features of the AH and the key differences with the main cardiomyopathies.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11566/293084
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