The differentiation of physiological left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) can prove challenging for even the most experienced cardiologists. The case is presented of a 17 year old elite swimmer who had electrocardiographic and echocardiographic features that were highly suggestive of HCM. However, indices of diastolic function were normal and cardiopulmonary exercise testing revealed high peak oxygen consumption in keeping with physiological LVH. To resolve the diagnostic dilemma, the patient underwent detraining for eight weeks, after which, there was complete resolution of the changes seen on electrocardiogram and echocardiogram, indicating physiological LVH rather than HCM.
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Competing interests: none declared
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