The Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center study, presented recently at the annual meeting of the American Society of Echocardiography, suggests adding a modified echo to the current practice of taking an EKG, getting a family history and having a physical exam.
"EKG is a good tool, but may not be sensitive enough to catch problems that could lead to sudden death," says Michelle Grenier, MD, a physician at the Cincinnati Children's Heart Institute and one of the investigators of the study. "We found that an abbreviated echo is a fiscally responsible addition that will yield useful information when screening student athletes for structural heart disease and cardiomyopathies– heart muscle diseases that are the major cause of sudden death in athletes."
Screening for risk of sudden death in athletes has long been a topic of controversy, in part because it is expensive and time consuming. Her study, however, indicates that a shortened echo may increase the sensitivity of finding heart defects in competitive athletes.
As part of an ongoing study, Dr. Grenier and colleagues at Cincinnati Children's recruited 85 teen athletes for a screening that included a health questionnaire, physical exam, EKG and a 15-image, modified echo that took nine minutes, on average, to obtain. Echoes that were considered abnormal were referred for a complete echo, where they were read by a cardiologist not involved in the study.
Ten of the participants (12 percent) had abnormal echoes when read in real-time and were referred for further assessment. These 10 participants had a normal history, physical exam and EKG. All preliminary diagnoses were later substantiated. The researchers found no additional heart problems, and all 10 echoes were later confirmed to be abnormal.
"The number of patients with asymptomatic, congenital heart disease was higher than expected, but the rate of cardiomyopathy – the main cause of sudden death in athletes – is probably closer to the published rate," says Dr. Grenier. "Our goal is to provide useful information to care providers, who may then better counsel athletes and their families on full participation in sports.
"The cost-effectiveness and impact on reducing the rate of sudden cardiac death aren't yet known, but the impact on quality of life in reassurance of cardiac health during exercise is priceless," she says.
Jim Feuer | EurekAlert!
The Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung
A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
20.01.2017 | Awards Funding
20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.01.2017 | Life Sciences