In recent years, the role of pre-participation evaluation (PPE) in the prevention of sudden cardiac death in competitive athletes has become evident. Most physicians routinely supplement assessment by resting electrocardiogram with imaging techniques, such as echocardiography. The primary goal of imaging in the clinical assessment of competitive athletes is to exclude cardiovascular conditions associated with adverse outcomes. Cardiac computed tomography is emerging as an important technique for stratifying cardiovascular risk and assessing coronary artery disease (CAD), particularly in master athletes. Conversely, in young athletes, this technique has the best non-invasive coronary artery resolution and provides valuable details on coronary artery anatomy. Recent technical developments have brought about a dramatic reduction in radiation exposure, a major drawback of this diagnostic method; nowadays cardiac computed tomography may be performed at a dose of barely one millisievert. The present review provides a practical guide for the use of cardiac computed tomography in the PPE of competitive athletes, with a specific focus on its value for detecting congenital coronary anomalies and CAD in young and master athletes, respectively.
Reference: The role of cardiac computed tomography in sports cardiology: back to the future! D'Ascenzi F, Baggiano A, Cavigli L, Mandoli GE, Andreini D, Marallo C, Valente S, Focardi M, Cameli M, Pontone G. Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2022 Apr 18:jeac069.