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Pediatric cardiologists not always accurate in interpreting ECG results for young athletes
Date:7/13/2011

rates between one in 10,000 and one in 100 people.)

The new results dovetail with the current American Heart Association position on pre-sport ECGs, which recommends against routine use of the exams because of the large number of athletes in the United States, the low frequency of diseases leading to sudden cardiac death, the low rate of sudden cardiac death itself and the frequent false-positives that could unjustly exclude healthy individuals from sport participation. The AHA instead recommends a thorough history and physical exam every two years for young athletes.

A different Stanford study on ECGs for athletes, published in 2010, suggested ECGs for young athletes would be cost-effective. However, that study started from the assumption that ECGs would all be interpreted accurately, said cardiologist Euan Ashley, MD, who led the cost-effectiveness research.

If the United States does start instituting screening programs, Hill and her colleagues suggest that there is a need to ensure the physicians reading these ECGs are trained appropriately, which would add to the total load of information that pediatric cardiologists must already learn during their three-year training. It would also be important for physicians to use the proper normal values when evaluating these scans. Currently, there is not good consensus on what constitutes "normal" for a trained athlete's heart, said co-author Anne Dubin MD, associate professor of pediatric cardiology, adding that data from such individuals exists but has not been widely shared.


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Contact: Erin Digitale
digitale@stanford.edu
650-724-9175
Stanford University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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