May 11, 2020 – Competitive athletes are a rapidly growing population worldwide. Habitual vigorous exercise, a defining characteristic of this population, can cause various changes in cardiac structure and function known as cardiac remodeling. Clinicians treating these athletes need to be prepared as optimal use of multimodality imaging in competitive athletes requires both an understanding of exercise-induced cardiac remodeling and the strengths and weaknesses of available imaging techniques.
The American Society of Echocardiography (ASE) created the "Recommendations on the Use of Multimodality Cardiovascular Imaging in Young Adult Competitive Athletes" to provide clinical imaging specialists with a comprehensive guide covering the principles of how clinicians should apply and interpret noninvasive imaging with accuracy and cost-effectiveness.
A carefully constructed multimodality imaging strategy has the potential to diagnose and risk-stratify athletes with cardiovascular disease and to exclude the presence of disease to permit safe, unrestricted competition. This document was developed in collaboration with the Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) and the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (SCMR) and has also been endorsed by 23 ASE International Alliance Partners.
ASE’s Chair of the writing group, Aaron L. Baggish, M.D., FACC, FACSM, director, Cardiovascular Performance Program, Massachusetts General Hospital said, “Multimodality imaging is of paramount importance in the clinical care of athletes and highly active people. To do this well requires an understanding of what constitutes normal in this population coupled with the use of a strategic approach to test selection and interpretation. The interpretation of imaging data obtained from competitive athletes requires a comprehensive understanding of exercise-induced cardiac remodeling and the ability to distinguish those characteristics from cardiovascular disease.”
In conjunction with the publication of this guideline, Baggish will conduct a live webinar, including a question and answer section, on June 9, 2020, at 1 p.m. Eastern time. The webinar will be available for free to all ASE members and open to all other clinicians for $25. Registration will open soon and access to all ASE-hosted guideline webinars is available on the ASE Learning Hub.
The full guideline document is available on the Journal of American Society of Echocardiography (JASE) website OnlineJASE.com. This document and all ASE Guideline documents are also available to the medical community at ASEcho.org/Guidelines.