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Electrocardiography in athletes: normal and abnormal findings
  1. Jordan M Prutkin1,
  2. Mathew G Wilson2,3
  1. 1 Department of Medicine/Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA
  2. 2 Sports Medicine Department, ASPETAR Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  3. 3 Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, ASPETAR Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  1. Correspondence to Dr Jordan M Prutkin, Division of Cardiology, University of Washington, Seattle 1959 NE, USA; jprutkin{at}


Many sporting organisations recommend a pre-participation ECG to screen for disorders which predispose to sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). The ability of the ECG to perform accurately is dependent on the ECG criteria used and the experience of the operator. There have been several ECG criteria over the last decade, though these were recently superseded with the publication of the ‘International Consensus Criteria for ECG Interpretation in Athletes’. These criteria use the latest evidence to improve specificity while maintaining sensitivity for ECG-detectable pathologies associated with SCA. Accordingly, this review describes the normal, borderline and abnormal ECG findings in an asymptomatic athlete aged 12–35 years.

  • cardiac arrest
  • ecg/electrocardiogram

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  • Contributors Both authors wrote and revised the manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.