First Advisor

Gary Brodowicz

Date of Publication


Document Type

Closed Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Health Studies


Community Health




Cardiac arrest -- Case studies -- Prevention, Heart -- Diseases -- Case studies, Myocardium -- Diseases -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, iv, 66 p.)


The objective of the current study is to present the case of an intercollegiate basketball player diagnosed with an ifliopathic cardiomyopathy. The athlete illustrated in the case study experienced ongoing chest discomfort with exercise. Episodic chest pain and syncope in athletes is often alarming and may signal an underlying cardiac condition. Early recognition and maJagement of these athletes is vital to the prevention of sudden cardiac death (SCD). Fortunately, the athlete was referred to a cardiologist by her team physician during her pre-participation physical examination to rule out heart conditions that may lead to SCD.

The athlete was presented a mildly reduced ejection fraction during her screening with the cardiologist. In cardiovascular physiology, ejection fraction is the fraction of end-diastolic volume that is ejected from the ventricle with each heart beat. Damage to the myocardium, as seen in cardiomyopathies, decreases the heart's ability to eject blood and therefore reduces the ejection fraction. The athlete underwent VO2max testing as well where it was discovered that her VO2max was exceptionally low for a physically active division-I athlete. This low VO2max suggested that the athlete had an insufficient oxygen uptake during intense exercise.

The athlete experienced a treatment protocol consisting of a progressive conditioning regimen of additional cardiovascular exercise that proved to be effective in raising her VO2max by 10%. The athlete returned to full participation and remained asymptomatic throughout the remainder of the season.

The pre-participation physical examination is crucial in early detection of events that may lead to sudden cardiac death. A thorough history and physical examination are the most efficient screening methods for detecting cardiovascular abnormalities. Any athlete with episodes of syncope, hypertension, or changes in heart rhythm should be referred to a physician.


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