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Screening for prevention of sudden death in the young: what is new?

Webster, G.; Carberry, T.; Berger, S.

Curr Opin Cardiol. 2019 Oct 2; 35(1):80-86

Abstract

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The optimal approach to screening young people to decrease the risk of sudden death remains unknown. It deserves the passionate attention that researchers, clinicians and families have given it. The new data from January 2018 to July 2019 are reviewed here. RECENT FINDINGS: Cardiac findings associated with a risk of sudden death were reported in 0.4% of screened athletes. Well run programs continue report varying sensitivity for screening ECGs (between 86 and 100%). One major article reported a higher incidence of sudden death in young people than has been previously published (6.8/100 000 athletes). SUMMARY: The rate of important findings in sophisticated screening programs is approximately 0.4%, suggesting that this is near the population rate of detectable disease in most athletic groups. ECGs are unquestionably capable of detecting disease that can be missed by history and physical, but the performance characteristics of ECGs continue to vary from study to study. In addition, the underlying cost and infrastructure of ECG and echocardiographic screening remains unaddressed by the recent literature. A few small studies have started to look at alternative technology approaches to ECG screening. VIDEO ABSTRACT.

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