American Medical Society for Sports Medicine
For Immediate Release Apr 07, 2014

New Research Presented in the Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Death in Athletes
By AMSSM Member Andrew Ashbaugh, MD

NEW ORLEANS, La. – Researchers from the University of Washington sports medicine program are presenting findings from several research studies related to the prevention of sudden cardiac death in athletes today at the 23rd annual meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) held at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The following research presentations are scheduled for Monday, April 7:

Effectiveness of Cardiac Screening Inclusive of ECG in Young Athletes
Primary Investigator: Brett Toresdahl, MD
1:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

In this study involving 4,812 high school athletes, participants were screened with history, physical exam and a resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG). Twenty-three athletes (0.5%) were identified with a potentially lethal cardiac condition. History, physical exam and ECG screening had false positive rates of 22 percent, 15 percent and 3.6 percent, and positive predictive values of 1.0 percent, 1.0 percent, and 8.6 percent, respectively. The authors conclude that standardized history and physical exam has a high false-positive rate in cardiac screening of young athletes, and that ECG screening using modern interpretation criteria provides a low false-positive rate and increases the likelihood of detecting disorders associated with sudden cardiac death.

ECG Screening during the Pre-Participation Examination Does Not Cause Undue Anxiety in Competitive Athletes
Primary Investigator: Irfan M. Asif, MD from the University of Knoxville
1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Twenty five athletes diagnosed with a cardiac condition associated with sudden cardiac death or requiring further intervention were interviewed to measure the psychological impact of their diagnosis. The authors recommend that improved multi-disciplinary support programs are necessary to assist athletes diagnosed with potentially lethal cardiac disorders.

A third research abstract will not be presented during the General Session but an abstract is available for the following:

The Seattle ECG Criteria for Abnormal Q Waves is Not Associated with Findings of Cardiomyopathy on Limited Echocardiography
Primary Investigator: Joseph Marek, MD

In this related project conducted in collaboration with the Young Hearts 4 Life Foundation, 206 of 13,335 adolescents screened with ECG had Q wave abnormalities as defined by the Seattle Criteria and were further evaluated by echocardiography. No individual had pathologic findings on echocardiography, and the authors suggest that modification of current interpretation standards may further improve specificity of ECG screening without compromising sensitivity for the detection of cardiomyopathy.

Registration is required for admittance. Media interested in being credentialed for the 2014 AMSSM Annual Meeting or to schedule an interview with any of the meeting speakers, contact Jessica Torres-Sosa, AMSSM Communications Manager, at [email protected]. Media guidelines:

About the AMSSM Annual Meeting: More than 1,400 sports medicine physicians from the United States and abroad come together to address advances and challenges in sports medicine through lectures and research. Learn more at

About the AMSSM: AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 2,500 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.


NOTE: For more information, please contact the AMSSM, 4000 W. 114th St., Suite 100, Leawood, KS 66211, (913) 327-1415.

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