CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202307.0438.v1
Subject: Medicine And Pharmacology, Cardiac And Cardiovascular Systems Keywords: heart rate monitor; endurance running; arrhythmia, tachycardia; artifacts; exertion rhythm disorders; Munchhausen syndrome; athlete's heart
Online: 7 July 2023 (07:41:51 CEST)
A 36-year-old professional marathon runner reported sudden heart palpitations occurring during competitions, with heart rates (HR) of 230 bpm recorded on sports HR monitor (HRM) over 4 years. These episodes subsided upon the cessation of exercise. Electrocardiograms, echocardiography, and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging results were borderline for athlete's heart. Because an electrophysiology study and standard exercise tests provoked no arrhythmia, doctors suspected Munchhausen syndrome. Ultimately, an exercise test that simulated the physical effort during a competition provoked tachyarrhythmia consistent with the HRM readings. This case demonstrates the diagnostic difficulties related to exercise-induced arrhythmia and the diagnostic usefulness of sports HRMs.