Atrial fibrillation (AF) is the most prevalent sustained arrhythmia affecting up to 1% of the world’s population. The overwhelming majority of patients with AF have concomitant structural heart disease and comorbidities, including hypertension and diabetes mellitus. One out of ten AF patients has no substantial comorbidities and has been traditionally termed “lone AF”. Paradoxically, there exists an association of highintensity endurance exercises and AF.
43-year-old competitive cyclist and cross-country skier with no known cardiac comorbidities who presented with multiple episodes of dyspnea and palpitations. He was found to have exercise-induced AF without structural heart abnormalities.
This case highlights the clinical diversity of AF in athletes. In this review, we delve into the specifics of the pathophysiology and clinical features of AF in athletes. We then review the key points in managing AF in athletes, including medical therapy and catheter ablation.
AF in the athletes is incompletely understood due to a lack of prospective study volume. There exist some crucial pathophysiological differences between AF in athletes and AF in older patients with structural heart disease. Treating physicians must be aware of the nuances of management of AF in athletes, including the concepts of detraining, medical therapy options, and ablation.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.