Pediatric Heart Expert Forum
Female Division I Basketball Player Having Heart Issues
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Questions in this forum are answered by pediatric cardiologists, cardiothoracic surgeons and anesthesiologists from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. This forum is for questions and support about pediatric heart problems, symptoms and topics such as heart murmurs, palpitations, fainting, chest pain, congenital heart defects (including management and intervention), fetal cardiology, adult congenital cardiology, arrhythmias and pre-participation athletic screening.

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Female Division I Basketball Player Having Heart Issues

Hello,

My daughter Kate is at SIUE playing Division I basketball, and has been a top athlete all her life-20 years old, and is now a Junior and while running line sprints she has had 4-5 epiosodes of irregular heartbeat, rapid breathing, and legs and hands felt tingly....these are Kate's words... as well as the head trainer for the University. The EKG and Echo did not indicate any issues. Kate is now going to do a stress test and wear a heart monitor for 21 days to look for issues. Any recomendations for a concerend father of a beautiful young daughter and her heart? Please note Kate and lost her mother, my wife of 27 years, last year to breast cancer; I know it's been hard on her losing her best friend...I do the best I can but I am not a mother. I wonder if their are other mitigating stresses causing these issues? Kate's also trying to win her scholarship back after losing it last semester due to a lack of focus...she's been working harder then ever to prove herself this semester and win her playing time back and the scholarship. Maybe too much pressure for a 20 year old as well.
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It sounds like you and your daughter have been through alot this past year.   Stress is certainly known to be associated with palpitations, however, the concern is that your daughters' symptoms are occurring with exercise.  It is important to know that her ECG and echocardiogram are thought to be normal, but those tests alone will not tell you the cause of the palpitations.  She should be seen by a cardiologist for their opinion (if she has not done so already).  I agree with the need for a formal exercise stress test, and the use of a multi-day event monitor to try to document what her rhythm is during her symptoms.  It may be that if all these are normal, that your daughter is over-stressing herself to try to over-compensate for last year.  The tingly extremities are very likely related to hyperventilation, because she is working so hard and breathing through her mouth.  She must keep very well hydrated at all times and avoid stimulants and caffeine.  If all else turns up negative, then consider an evaluation for exercise-induced bronchospasm.  Hopefully all will be well. Good luck.
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Jeffrey R Boris, M.D.Blank
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