Echocardiography as a screen to prevent SCD in athletes — 5 Questions with CJSM

 

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Dr. Gian Corrado performing screening cardiac ultrasound

For our first “5 Questions with CJSM” of 2017, we have a special guest:  Dr. Gianmichel Corrado, of Boston Children’s Hospital and Northeastern University.

Dr. Gian Corrado  is a doubly special guest for me: he is the lead author of a ‘published-ahead-of-print’ CJSM study and is someone who trained me in sports medicine at Boston Children’s Hospital.

I have fond memories of working alongside him, the head team physician for Northeastern University in Boston, as we cared for hockey and football athletes.  And I remember the work he was just beginning to do in his now-blossoming area of research.

The new study reports the findings of a novel ‘take’ on a controversial aspect of sports medicine: how might we screen for underlying disorders that predispose our athletes to sudden cardiac death (SCD)?

By the way, don’t let Dr. Gian Corrado’s name fool you — this is not that Dr. Corrado, (Domenico Corrado), who also has published on screening for SCD; but both Drs. Corrado share a similar concern: the primary prevention of this catastrophic event.

Dr. Gian Corrado’s approach is to use ‘screening echocardiography in front-line providers,’ and his findings can be found here:  ‘Early Screening for Cardiovascular Abnormalities with Pre-Participation Echocardiography:  Feasibility Study.’

Dr. Corrado has this to say about his important work:

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1. CJSM: What was the principal outcome measure you were looking at in this study? What were the secondary outcome measures?

GC: Central in the debate as to how to best identify athletes at risk for sudden death (SD) is cost-effectiveness.  The American Heart Association continues to recommend a history and physical (H&P) as the sole method for screening young athletes for the cardiac conditions that can cause SD.  The H&P has been shown to be a poor test to apply to the above dilemma as it misses athletes whom have potentially deadly cardiac conditions and falsely identifies those that do not.  Many feel that, given this reality, an electrocardiogram (ECG) screening program should be implemented.  This approach has been shown to have significant limitations as it too yields high false positive rates.  The Northeastern Group has suggested and demonstrated that with advances in portable ultrasound frontline providers (FLP) can obtain limited echocardiographic images pertinent to the structural conditions that dominate in culpability with SD. Read more of this post

The CJSM Blog: 2015 in review

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The sun sets on 2015– photo, Kit Yoon

It’s hard to believe 2015 is wrapping up–as I write, it’s already New Year’s Eve in places like Australia and New Zealand, where members of the Australasian College of Sports Physicians [the ‘ACSP,’ one of our affiliated societies] live.

This time of year is one of reflection and thanks.  As I look back on 2015, it is remarkable, I think, to reflect on the many high points this journal enjoyed in its 25th year. The year began with the highly anticipated position statement on musculoskeletal ultrasound, authored by members of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine [‘AMSSM,’ another one of our affiliated societies].   Mid-year we published a statement that made a huge splash in the research world and the wider, lay media:  the Statement from the proceedings of the 3rd International Exercise-Associated Hyponatremia Consensus Conference.   And we wrapped things up with a controversial study looking at the limitations inherent in screening for sudden-cardiac death in young athletes.

Through it all, we’ve enjoyed our interactions with you, our readers.  Whether on our iPad app, the website, our blog posts and podcasts, or our Twitter feed, we have spent a remarkable year with you.

Thank you.  May you have a wonderful New Year’s, and may 2016 be a professionally fulfilling year for you all.  We look forward to advancing the science of clinical sports medicine with you all.  And before the clock ticks down the final seconds of 2015, we welcome you to see our annual CJSM blog report, below.

Cheers!  See you in 2016!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 37,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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