Anomalous Coronary Origin: The Challenge in Preventing Exercise-Related Sudden Cardiac Death

Br J Sports Med. 2010 Sep;44(12):895-7. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2008.054387. Epub 2010 Apr 22.


The sudden cardiac death (SCD) of a young athlete is a catastrophic event, particularly in the absence of prodromal warning symptoms. Anomalous coronary origin (ACO) is a well-described cause of cardiac symptoms and SCD, but the diagnosis is usually missed by conventional non-invasive investigations designed to identify myocardial ischaemia. SCD is preventable by correction of the anomaly. A tragic case of a promising young athlete who had underlying ACO and who presented with prodromal symptoms with multiple "negative" investigations is described to highlight the typical clinical features and outline the difficulties encountered in accurate premortem diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Autopsy
  • Coronary Vessel Anomalies / diagnosis*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / etiology*
  • Death, Sudden, Cardiac / prevention & control
  • Echocardiography
  • Electrocardiography
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Humans
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / diagnosis
  • Male
  • Soccer*