Aortic root dilatation among young competitive athletes: Echocardiographic screening of 1929 athletes between 15 and 34 years of age

Norimitsu Kinoshita, Jun Mimura, Chiyomi Obayashi, Fuminori Katsukawa, Shohei Onishi, Hajime Yamazaki

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66 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Aortic dilatation can be lethal for young competitive athletes. The prevalence among athletes is not known, however, and thus a reasonable approach to early recognition remains uncertain. Methods and results: Echocardiograms of 1929 normotensive athletes 15 to 34 years of age were analyzed. Five (0.26%) athletes had aortic dilatation; 4 of the 5 played basketball. This made the prevalence of aortic dilatation 0.96% (4 of 415) among basketball and volleyball players, who represented a population of especially tall athletes. Tallness aside, only 2 of the 5 athletes had features of Marfan syndrome. Among the athletes without aortic dilatation, the relation between body surface area and aortic root dimension was nonlinear and best described with a quadratic regression model. Athletes with aortic dilatation fell well outside the 95% confidence interval. Conclusion: Because a higher incidence of aortic dilatation is to be anticipated among very tall athletes, inclusion of echocardiography in screening before participation in certain sports should be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)723-728
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Heart Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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