Feature | May 19, 2014

ECG for Pre-Participation Screening of High School Athletes Efficient at Finding Heart Abnormalities

Largest study to use modern interpretation criteria of ECGs led to more accurate detection of cardiac conditions

May 19, 2014 — A new study found that adding an electrocardiogram (ECG) to existing pre-participation screening of high school athletes increases the likelihood of identifying disorders associated with sudden cardiac death. By using modern interpretation criteria, screenings resulted in fewer false-positive rates, which leads to more accurate detection. The findings were presented at Heart Rhythm 2014, the Heart Rhythm Society’s (HRS) 35th annual scientific sessions.

The prospective study was conducted at 23 high schools in the greater Seattle area from October 2010 through June 2013. Competitive athletes ages 13 to 19 underwent a screening protocol that included a heart health questionnaire and physical recommendations based on the current American Heart Assn. (AHA) recommendations, as well as a resting 12-lead ECG interpreted using athlete-specific criteria and limited echocardiogram.

Nearly 5,000 (4,812) athletes were screened, and 23 athletes were identified with a significant abnormality requiring further evaluation. Abnormal history or physical examination findings led to a diagnosis in 61 percent of disorders, and an abnormal ECG led to a diagnosis in 70 percent. The addition of ECG led to detection in seven (30 percent) athletes not otherwise identified by AHA protocol.

“The debate has mostly been focused on whether or not to include ECG screening, and this study shows it is not just about whether or not to include an ECG, but the importance of appropriate ECG interpretation in athletes,” said lead author Jordan M. Prutkin, M.D., MHS, FHRS, assistant professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology. “We need to focus future research on how we can further develop better athlete-specific interpretation criteria, which in turn will help reduce sudden cardiac arrest in the young population.”

While the history and physical exam are important and recommended by AHA, the study found that these alone gave more false positive readings than the ECG. The ECG had a significantly lower false positive rate at 3.6 percent, when compared to the history (22.3 percent) and physical exam (14.9 percent). In addition, the ECG was better at positively predicting abnormalities than the history and physical examination. When modern interpretation criteria is used, ECG screening increases the likelihood of detecting disorders associated with sudden cardiac death and may help ease anxiety about the results of the ECG screening and reduce associated costs. An integrated screening protocol using history, physical examination and ECGs should be considered for pre-participation screening in young athletes.

For more information: www.hrsonline.org

Related Content

Statins Associated With Improved Heart Structure and Function
News | Pharmaceuticals| May 26, 2017
Statins are associated with improved heart structure and function, according to research presented at EuroCMR 2017, May...
Arto System Shows Promise as Less-Invasive Therapy for Heart Failure Patients
News | Heart Failure| May 26, 2017
Recent outcomes from the MAVERIC clinical trial confirm earlier positive findings that MVRx’s Arto System safely and...
Intensive Glycemic Control Program Produces Significant Per-Patient Cost Savings for CABG Surgery
News | Cardiovascular Surgery| May 25, 2017
A new study from Emory University observed a near-20 percent reduction in perioperative complications, a 1.2-day...
Edwards Lifesciences Centera self expanding transcatheter (TAVR) valve
News | Heart Valve Technology| May 24, 2017
May 24, 2017 — Late-breaking data presented at EuroPCR 2017 demonstrating excellent clinical outcomes for...
3-D Echo Image Analysis With Philips' HeartModel A.I. is Accurate and Reproducible
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound| May 24, 2017
May 24, 2017 — Philips recently announced the results from a global study indicating that automated...
Heart Failure Mortality Inversely Related to Wealth of Country
News | Heart Failure| May 24, 2017
Death in patients with heart failure is inversely related to the wealth of the country they live in, according to late...
Shockwave Medical Announces CE Mark for Coronary Lithoplasty System and Activities at EuroPCR 2017
News | Cath Lab| May 23, 2017
Shockwave Medical announced last week CE Mark for the company’s Coronary Lithoplasty System for the treatment of...
New Paper Highlights Success of Advanced Treatments in Complex Aortic Aneurysm Repair
News | Endovascular Aortic Repair| May 23, 2017
Significant success has been achieved in treating complex proximal aneurysms using a combination of fenestrated and...
Risk of Heart Transplant Rejection Reduced by Desensitizing Patient Antibodies
News | Cardiovascular Surgery| May 23, 2017
The risk of heart transplant rejection can be reduced by desensitizing patient antibodies, according to research...
News | Heart Failure| May 22, 2017
Serelaxin failed to meet the primary endpoints of the phase 3 RELAX-AHF-2 trial, according to late-breaking results...
Overlay Init