Background and Objective: Many studies concern the management of young patients with symptomatic Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, but little information exists on the significance and prognosis of ventricular pre-excitation (VPE) in asymptomatic children. The aim of the study was to evaluate the risk of sudden death in young athletes with asymptomatic VPE by transesophageal electrophysiological study (TEEPS) and their sports eligibility after the risk assessment and/or ablative treatment. Methods: Ninety-one asymptomatic children and adolescents underwent TEEPS both at rest and during adrenergic stress (exercise testing or isoproterenol infusion). After electrophysiological testing, patients were assessed in the 36 months of follow-up. Results: Thirty-three patients (36.3 %) had a benign form of VPE and were allowed to participate in competitions. Ten patients (11 %) were at borderline risk; thus, sport eligibility was evaluated individually. Forty-eight patients (52.7 %) showed inducible sustained atrioventricular reentrant tachycardia and/or atrial fibrillation (AF), 11 of whom (12.1 % of total population) had a potential risk of sudden cardiac death due to AF inducibility during physical stress. Forty-five young athletes underwent transcatheter ablation (TCA). TCA was interrupted in 12 patients (26.7 %) because of the high procedural risk linked to septal accessory pathway (AP) location. There were no TCA-related complications, and all patients remained asymptomatic during follow-up. Conclusion: Most of the young athletes with asymptomatic VPE may be allowed to participate in competitive sports after an adequate risk assessment and/or ablative treatment. However, in our opinion, special care should be taken to avoid procedural complications, which are unacceptable in asymptomatic patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation