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Encouraging early prognosis for Diego Ulissi after cardiac check-up

Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates)
Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) (Image credit: Getty Images)

UAE Team Emirates have said that the prognosis for Diego Ulissi is “positive” after he underwent a cardiac assessment at the Riuniti Hospital in Ancona this week, expressing hope of a “progressive recovery” for the eight-time Giro d’Italia stage winner.

Ulissi was ordered to rest from training and competition for several months when he was diagnosed with myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, after an irregular heartbeat was detected during pre-season testing in December.

While his UAE Team Emirates teammates were in Dubai for their pre-season training camp, Ulissi this week underwent electrophysiological study and analysis under the supervision of Professor Antonio Dello Russo in Ancona. Dello Russo operated on Mario Cipollini last year following some episodes of atrial fibrillation.

In a statement on Wednesday, UAE Team Emirates said that no heart arrhythmia was recorded during the testing. The results of biopsies taken this week will be analysed in Padua, after which a decision on Ulissi’s next steps will be made. The Italian will be discharged from hospital on Thursday.

“Ulissi underwent an intracardiac ultrasound at the Riuniti Hospital in Ancona, Italy which confirmed a fibrosis of the left posterolateral wall of the heart, the same already reported in the magnetic resonance.

“These lesions were found to be very stable and long standing because, despite the electrical and pharmacological stimulation, no arrhythmias have been recorded,” read the UAE Team Emirates statement.

“Four biopsies were also performed at the most significant points, the results of which will be analysed in Padua. Based on the results a final decision can be made. The initial prognosis is generally positive and gives hope for a progressive recovery.”

According to a report in La Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday, Ulissi’s fellow professional Elia Viviani (Cofidis) has also been assessed at the same hospital in Ancona this week.

La Gazzetta reported that Viviani left the Cofidis training camp in Benidorm after noting an anomaly in his heart rate and he was referred to the hospital in Ancona as a precaution by his former Liquigas team doctor Roberto Corsetti.