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

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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 seeking diagnosis, counseling, and advice for continuing optimal performance
  • College and professional athletes suspected of having or who have been diagnosed with heart issues
  • Undergraduate NCAA athletes whose required health assessment identified possible cardiac issues and require further evaluation
  • 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 (called congenital heart disease) 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 level 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 levels, including 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 and rhythms. The results may help determine your risk for heart muscle damage or identify previous damage.


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

Stress Echocardiogram

A stress echocardiogram is performed while you walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike, or when a chemical is used to stimulate the heart. Like a traditional stress test, a stress echo helps identify changes in your heart’s function during exertion.

Cardiac MRI

Radio waves, magnets, and a computer create still and moving images of your overall heart structure, heart muscle function, 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 while at rest or with exercise. It helps to evaluate overall heart function.

Genetic Heart Disease Testing

Our genetic counselors conduct comprehensive screening to detect congenital heart conditions (conditions a person is born with) that may manifest in athletes in their teens through middle age. In addition, there are now several genetic tests that can help predict your maximal performance capacity for your particular activity or sport.

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

Team of Specialists
Our cardiologists include specialists in heart rhythm disorders, congenital heart diseasegenetic heart disease, and more. 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 and identifying conditions that may 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 program to return you to a safe level of exercise that’s right for you.

Best Heart Hospital in North Carolina

When it comes to your heart care, you want the very best. Duke University Hospital is proud of our team and the exceptional care they provide. They are why our cardiology and heart surgery program is nationally ranked, and the highest-ranked program in North Carolina, according to U.S. News & World Report for 2024–2025.