Arrhythmias and Sudden Cardiac Death in Elite Athletes

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With the recent high visibility deaths of Hank Gathers and Reggie Lewis two nationally recognized elite basketball players, our awareness of the most optimal ways to manage athletes with known arrhythmias has become heightened. In this review, we consider the state our medical knowledge in this area. Many controverstes persist with regard to arrhythmias, most notably for the athlete with Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome, mitral vavle prolapse, myonarditis, or complex ventricular arrhythmias Finally, broader issues will be considered regarding how as physicians and members of society, we may deal with the complex interrelationships among the athlete, family, coach, and physician to decide what is truly best for the athlete.

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