Newswise — SEATTLE, Wash. – In a continued effort to help physicians more accurately interpret ECG results to improve cardiac safety in athletes and impact sudden cardiac death, the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) and the FIFA Medical Assessment and Research Center (F-MARC) are bringing together top sports cardiology and sport medicine physicians from around the world for the 2nd Summit on ECG Interpretation in Athletes in Seattle Feb. 26-27.

The Summit will focus on reaching agreement upon scientifically driven ECG interpretation standards, defining clear steps in the evaluation of ECG abnormalities and making updates to free online ECG learning modules that were designed as a result of the first ECG Summit. The 2012 Summit yielded four consensus papers and the launch of the educational modules available on the AMSSM and British Medical Journal learning site. To date, more than 13,000 modules have been completed by physicians from over 117 countries.

More than 30 of the world’s foremost authorities in sports cardiology and sports medicine will be part of the Summit, which is also being supported by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and includes representatives from the American College of Cardiology (ACC) Sports & Exercise Council, the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Sports Cardiology Section and the Pediatric & Congenital Electrophysiology Society (PACES). The expert panel includes participants from 10 countries – Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Italy, Qatar, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

“Whether an ECG is performed for screening or diagnostic purposes, physicians responsible for the cardiovascular care of athletes must be guided by ECG interpretation standards that distinguish normal ECG findings in athletes from ECG abnormalities requiring additional evaluation for conditions associated with sudden cardiac death,” said past AMSSM President Jonathan Drezner, MD, who is chair of the meeting. “Ideally, these standards, combined with greater physician education, will improve disease detection and limit false-positive results.”

The 2012 meeting helped establish athlete-specific ECG interpretation standards dubbed the “Seattle Criteria.” The 2015 Summit will update these standards based on new and emerging research to produce an international consensus to guide ECG interpretation in athletes. Dr. Drezner, who is also director of the UW Medicine Center for Sports Cardiology and a team physician for the University of Washington Huskies and Seattle Seahawks, added, “We all want athletes to be safe during sports participation. The summit represents a true scientific collaboration and commitment from the sports medicine and cardiology communities to protect the cardiovascular health and safety in athletes.”

The AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of sports medicine physicians whose members are dedicated to education, research, advocacy, and the care of athletes of all ages. Founded in 1991, the AMSSM is now comprised of more than 2,700 sports medicine physicians whose goal is to provide a link between the rapidly expanding core of knowledge related to sports medicine and its application to patients in a clinical setting.

See List of Participants below:
AMSSM Jonathan Drezner, MD (Chair)Irfan Asif, MDChad Asplund, MDKimberly Harmon, MDHank Pelto, MD

ACC Sports & Exercise Council Aaron Baggish, MDMike Emery, MDSilvana Molossi, MD

ESC Sports Cardiology Section Mats Borjesson, MDDomenico Corrado, MD, PhD*Hein Heidbuchel, MDMichael Papadakis, MDAntonio Pelliccia, MD*Josef Niebauer, MD, PhD, MBASanjay Sharma, MD

NCAA Gordon Cohen, MD

PACES Michael Ackerman, MD, PhDTess Saarel, MDJack Salerno, MD

Other U.S. Cardiologists Eugene Chung, MDVic Froelicher, MDJoseph Marek, MDDavid Owens, MDMarco Perez, MDJordan Prutkin, MDDavid Shipon, MDVicki Vetter, MD*

F-MARC Christian Schmied, MD

ASPETAR Carmen Adamuz, MD, PhDNathan Riding, PhDMathew Wilson, PhD

Brazil Ricardo Stein, MD, ScD

Australia Andre La Gerche, MD

*unable to attend in Seattle

Please note: Due to the nature of the meeting Dr. Drezner will be available early Friday morning or afternoon after 3 p.m. PT for comment. Please contact Tekia Thompson, AMSSM Communications Manager at [email protected] or 913-327-1415 to schedule an interview.