For more than 70 years, early repolarization has been considered to be a common normal variant. In the general population, the prevalence ranges between 5 and 13%, and in athletes, a rising trend is observed from 20 to 90%. Nevertheless, from the latter half of the 1990s, a growing number of case reports, series, observational and prospective studies reported that the presence of various electrocardiographic patterns attributed to early repolarization may constitute a potential marker for the increased risk of sudden death in otherwise normal individuals, casting a dark shadow on this ECG peculiarity. This review provides a historical summary of the evolution of the concept of early repolarization from its original description to the latest works and a guide to help physicians in evaluating individuals with this common electrocardiographic pattern.
aDivision of Cardiology, Department of Medical Science, Città della Salute e della Scienza Hospital, University of Turin, Turin, Italy
bThe Heart Centre, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
Correspondence to Luigi Biasco, Division of Cardiology, Department of Medical Science, Città della Salute e della Scienza Hospital, University of Turin, C.so Bramante 88, 10126. Torino, Italy Tel: +39 011 6335571; fax: +39 011 6336769; e-mail: email@example.com
Received 11 November, 2014
Revised 7 January, 2015
Accepted 5 February, 2015