Cardio Direct offers a comprehensive pre-participation screening service that includes history (sudden cardiac death risk assessment), examination (to exclude hypertension), resting ECG and detailed echocardiography. This protocol is in line with current European Cardiac Society and International Olympic Association recommendations for pre-participation screening in athletes.
Sudden cardiac death in athletes is most commonly related to a previously unidentified cardiomyopathy (hypertrophic or arrhythmogenic RV dysplasia being the commonest). Coronary artery disease is a very rare cause of sudden death in young athletes although becomes more frequent after the age of 35 years. For this reason, we recommend treadmill exercise testing with continuous ECG monitoring for all athletes age 35 and over.
Our sports screen can be tailored to an individual’s or club’s needs. However a typical screen for under 35’s would cover:
- A health questionnaire
- A short medical examination
- A 12 lead ECG
- Resting blood pressure profile
We recommend Bruce protocol exercise testing (a clinic based test with continuous ECG monitoring) to all sportsmen and women over the age of 35 years or those with a convincing history of exertional angina. Anomalous coronary artery origin is related to sudden death in athletes and we look carefully for this possibility on echo (although it cannot be excluded on all individuals for technical reasons).
Our mobile screening services are undertaken by a cardiac physiologist and a nurse. Our clinic screening services are undertaken by our clinic cardiologist and a nurse.
We would provide a Cardiologist's report for each individual screened including a summary of the tests performed and any recommended follow up.
The interval between successive screening on any particular individual (cardiomyopathy or ECG abnormalities may develop over time and repeat investigations are recommended) may vary according to baseline assessment but is generally annually or two yearly.