man and woman running outside during the daytime over bridge

The Kansas City Heart Rhythm Institute (KCHRI) Sports Cardiology Clinic offers a comprehensive evaluation and services targeted to active individuals of all levels of performance. Our aim is to safely treat and risk-stratify to avoid exercise restriction and help patients excel.

Find an electrophysiologist

Symptoms of sports heart arrhythmias

The KCHRI Sports Cardiology Clinic evaluates and treats all types of athletes and active individuals, including:

  • Collegiate athletes and some high school athletes, depending on age and maturity level
  • Recreational athletes
  • Masters athletes (age 35 and older)
  • Former athletes
  • Weekend warriors
  • Tactical athletes (such as police officers and firefighters)
  • Professional/elite athletes
  • Currently inactive individuals eager to begin an exercise program

You may be a candidate for the KCHRI Sports Cardiology Clinic if:

  • You have fainted or lost consciousness during physical activity
  • You have experienced palpitations at rest or with exercise
  • You are an athlete who has developed atrial fibrillation (Afib) or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs)
  • You have a cardiac condition and are unsure if you should exercise
  • You have a personal or family history of inherited heart conditions and want to safely participate in sports or strenuous activities

Diagnosing athletic heart arrhythmias

KCHRI provides extensive and timely evaluation of the following:

  • Heart palpitations and arrhythmias, such as Afib, supraventricular tachycardia (SVT), Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) syndrome, PVCs, and ventricular tachycardia (VT)
  • Evaluation of sports eligibility and return to play
  • Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG) abnormalities
  • Survivors of sudden cardiac death (SCD) and SCD risk assessment
  • Syncope and autonomic dysfunction, such as postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and inappropriate sinus tachycardia (IST)
  • Inherited cardiomyopathies and syndromes, such as arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), long QT syndrome (LQTS), Brugada syndrome, and catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia (CPVT)
  • Myocarditis and prior COVID-19 infection
  • Second opinions regarding cardiovascular conditions or screening tests (echocardiogram, ECG/EKG)

*The list above is for reference only and is not exclusive. Each patient or referral will be reviewed carefully on a case-by-case basis. Our physicians will discuss treatment options with patients and referring providers.

Depending on the condition, we offer a variety of testing and treatments tailored specifically for the athlete or highly active person, including:

  • World-class arrhythmia care including cutting-edge technology to diagnose, risk level, and treat basic and complex arrhythmias with electrophysiology studies and ablation
  • Evaluation, implantation, and management of cardiac implantable electronic devices including pacemakers, conduction system pacing, defibrillators, cardiac resynchronization therapy, and implantable loop recorders
  • Advanced imaging studies, such as echocardiogram, cardiac MRI, cardiac positron emission tomography (PET), and cardiac CT scans
  • Cardiopulmonary exercise testing
  • Dedicated autonomic function testing clinic to evaluate syncope and autonomic function disorders
  • Genetic testing

Man running on treadmill for cardiology testing with therapist nearby

Treating sports heart arrhythmias

The cardiac electrophysiologists at KCHRI develop a personalized treatment plan to address heart arrhythmia in athletes for the best possible outcomes to maximize return-to-play.

We coordinate patient care with a multidisciplinary team of specialists including pulmonary medicine, cardiac imaging, interventional cardiology, cardiothoracic surgery, non-invasive cardiology, sports medicine, pediatric cardiology, and genetics.

Treatment options include:

  • Ongoing monitoring
  • Medication therapy
  • Electrophysiology studies
  • Ablation procedure
  • Evaluation, implantation, and management of cardiac devices such as pacemakers and defibrillators

The evaluation and treatment of heart arrhythmias in athletes is an ever-evolving field, and the cardiac electrophysiologists at KCHRI are at the forefront of clinical research. Eligible patients may have the opportunity to participate in a clinical trial to further advance treatment and improve outcomes.

Request an appointment

No referral is needed prior to scheduling an appointment at the KCHRI Sports Cardiology Clinic.

Find an electrophysiologist

Call (913) 449-1297

Email a member of our care team

Fax (913) 906-2339

We offer appointments at three convenient locations in the Kansas City metropolitan area:

  • Overland Park, KS
  • Kansas City, MO
  • Independence, MO

The KCHRI Sports Cardiology Clinic does not perform standard sports physicalsThe Sports Cardiology Clinic. Find a provider that performs sports physicals near you.

The Sports Cardiology Clinic is led by Douglas Darden, MD, a board-certified, fellowship-trained electrophysiologist who has been a lifelong athlete and frequently publishes and speaks on a broad range of sports cardiology topics.