Our cardiovascular screenings can help identify potentially dangerous heart conditions, which are of particular concern to high school and college athletes and their parents. For adult athletes, especially those who continue to compete into their fifth decade and beyond, cardiovascular screening can be useful in detecting existing cardiac conditions and determining cardiac fitness. Screening exams are recommended prior to beginning a rigorous new workout regimen.
Sudden cardiac arrest (SCD) in athletes over age 35 is most often related to atherosclerotic coronary arterial disease with myocardial infarction. However, in the United States, sudden cardiac arrest in athletes under age 35 is primarily caused by hypertrophic obstructive cardiomyopathy and other defined and hereditary cardiovascular disorders.
The most common cause of sudden cardiac death in younger athletes who have these underlying conditions appears to be cardiac electrical instability, which can lead to fatal heart rhythms such as ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. Most of these events occur within 1-hour of participation in sports.
Pre-participation examinations can identify some at-risk athletes. At Cardiac Vision, these exams are performed following both the American Heart Association guidelines and the 36th Bethesda Conference guidelines.