News | February 27, 2015

AMSSM and FIFA Hold 2nd Summit on ECG Interpretation in Athletes

Conference focuses on scientifically driven ECG interpretation standards

AMSSM, F-MARC, ECG, summit, Seattle, interpretation, athletes

February 27, 2015 — The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center (F-MARC) joined together to host the 2nd Summit on ECG Interpretation in Athletes, Feb. 26-27 in Seattle. The summit brought together top sports cardiology and sport medicine physicians from around the world to focus on improving cardiac safety in athletes and impacting sudden cardiac death.

The summit centered on reaching agreement upon scientifically driven electrocardiogram (ECG) interpretation standards, defining clear steps in the evaluation of ECG abnormalities and making updates to free online ECG learning modules that were designed as a result of the first ECG Summit. The 2012 summit yielded four consensus papers and the launch of the educational modules available on the AMSSM and British Medical Journal learning site. To date, more than 13,000 modules have been completed by physicians from over 117 countries.

“Whether an ECG is performed for screening or diagnostic purposes, physicians responsible for the cardiovascular care of athletes must be guided by ECG interpretation standards that distinguish normal ECG findings in athletes from ECG abnormalities requiring additional evaluation for conditions associated with sudden cardiac death,” said past AMSSM President Jonathan Drezner, M.D., who chaired the meeting. “Ideally, these standards, combined with greater physician education, will improve disease detection and limit false-positive results.”

The 2012 meeting helped establish athlete-specific ECG interpretation standards dubbed the “Seattle Criteria.” The 2015 summit updated these standards based on new and emerging research to produce an international consensus to guide ECG interpretation in athletes.

Drezner, who is also director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology and a team physician for the University of Washington Huskies and Seattle Seahawks, added, “We all want athletes to be safe during sports participation. The summit represents a true scientific collaboration and commitment from the sports medicine and cardiology communities to protect the cardiovascular health and safety in athletes.”

For more information: www.amssm.org

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