AffiliationDepartment of Radiology, Adelaide and Meath Hospital incorporating the National, Children's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. email@example.com
Aortic Valve Stenosis/diagnosis/etiology
Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia/diagnosis/etiology
Coronary Artery Disease/diagnosis/etiology
Death, Sudden, Cardiac/epidemiology/*etiology/prevention & control
Mitral Valve Prolapse/diagnosis
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CitationClin Radiol. 2011 Mar;66(3):203-23. Epub 2011 Jan 8.
AbstractSudden athlete death (SAD) is a widely publicized and increasingly reported phenomenon. For many, the athlete population epitomize human physical endeavour and achievement and their unexpected death comes with a significant emotional impact on the public. Sudden deaths within this group are often without prior warning. Preceding symptoms of exertional syncope and chest pain do, however, occur and warrant investigation. Similarly, a positive family history of sudden death in a young person or a known family history of a condition associated with SAD necessitates further tests. Screening programmes aimed at detecting those at risk individuals also exist with the aim of reducing fatalities. In this paper we review the topic of SAD and discuss the epidemiology, aetiology, and clinical presentations. We then proceed to discuss each underlying cause, in turn discussing the pathophysiology of each condition. This is followed by a discussion of useful imaging methods with an emphasis on cardiac magnetic resonance and cardiac computed tomography and how these address the various issues raised by the pathophysiology of each entity. We conclude by proposing imaging algorithms for the investigation of patients considered at risk for these conditions and discuss the various issues raised in screening.