Sports Cardiology

Sports Cardiology

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Duke's sports cardiologists provide screening and treatment for the full spectrum of heart disease in athletes. Our team provides personalized counseling to people affected by heart disease. We optimize your ability to participate in sports activities while minimizing your health risk.

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Dedicated Sports Cardiology Clinic

We Specialize in Screening and Treating Athletes with Heart Disease
We work with:

  • Athletes of all ages who seek diagnosis, counseling, and advice for continuing your optimal performance
  • College and professional athletes suspected of having or diagnosed with heart issues
  • Undergraduate NCAA athletes with screening issues
  • Professional and non-professional athletes seeking mid-career assessment for diabetes, heart disease, or stroke risk
Our Location
Learn about the services provided at the Duke Sports Sciences Institute in Durham.

Comprehensive Evaluation

Whether you were born with a heart condition or were recently found to have, or be at risk for, a form of heart disease, we help you achieve and maintain a level of exercise that is right for you. Our comprehensive assessments, advanced diagnostic testing, and coordination with a full range of cardiologists help you manage your disease while safely maintaining your activity and optimizing your performance. Depending on your individual needs and circumstances, your evaluation may include one or more of the following tests:

Blood Tests

Blood tests measure your cholesterol profile, which includes triglycerides and other fats in your blood that can affect your heart. Your glucose levels and hemoglobin A1c may be checked for indications of diabetes or pre-diabetes. Thyroid function and other tests look for associated endocrine issues. Special testing for inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein may also be part of a cardiovascular workup.

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

Small electrodes are placed on your skin to record your heart’s electrical impulses. The tracings may help identify risk for or prior heart muscle damage.


An ultrasound probe is moved over the surface of your chest to capture moving images of your heart. This allows us to determine your heart’s chamber dimensions, shape, valve structures, and overall function.

Stress Echocardiogram

This type of echocardiogram is performed while you walk on a treadmill or ride a bike, or when a chemical is used to stimulate your heart. A stress echocardiogram is used to monitor changes in your heart’s function while it’s under stress that may indicate coronary artery disease.

Cardiac MRI

Radio waves, magnets, and a computer create still and moving images of your heart, heart muscle, blood vessels, and surrounding structures.

Nuclear Cardiac Testing

Radioactive dye is used during imaging to create pictures of blood flow through your heart. This test may be done at rest or with exercise. 

Genetic Heart Disease Testing

Our genetic counselors conduct comprehensive screening to detect congenital heart conditions (conditions a person is born with) that may first show signs in athletes as young as high school, and through middle age. In addition, there are now several genetic tests that can help predict your maximal performance capacity and potential for your particular activity or sport.

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Why Choose Duke

Athlete-Specific Recommendations
We take into account your attitude toward performance and your goals. We provide personalized recommendations for treatment plans that keep your goals top-of-mind.

Coordinated Care
We assess your issue and coordinate your prompt referral to cardiologists who provide care for your condition. We facilitate and arrange for any needed follow-up testing and treatment in a timely fashion.  

Team of Specialists
Our cardiologists include specialists in heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart disease, and genetics, as well as the full range of heart disease concerns. We work as a team to provide you with optimal care.

Advanced Imaging Experts
We are skilled in interpreting tests results and distinguishing between normal and abnormal findings that can be misdiagnosed in athletes.

Cardiac Screening and Rehabilitation
We screen athletes for participation in sporting events, as well as those who are concerned about heart issues. If you have experienced a heart attack or undergone heart surgery, we coordinate your cardiac rehabilitation to return you to a safe level of exercise that’s right for you.

Best Heart Hospital in NC
When it comes to your heart care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital's nationally ranked cardiology and heart surgery program is ranked the best in North Carolina by U.S. News & World Report for 2019–2020.
Reviewed: 08/30/2018