Attention Sports Fans! Countdown to the 3rd Annual ACC Sports Cardiology Summit

This post was authored by Christine E. Lawless, MD, FACC, course director for the 2014 ACC Sports Cardiology Summit and past chair of the ACC Sports and Exercise Section.

Torn between two loves: sports and cardiology? No need to be. At the ACC’s 3rd Annual Sports Cardiology Summit, held Sept. 12-13 in Indianapolis, you can have it all! Course faculty planners promise to deliver an exciting blend of state-of-the-art lectures, cutting-edge original research, interactive workshops, real-world sports cardiology cases, and networking with peers and members of the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section. Here’s a preview of what to expect:

Friday, Sept. 12

The Summit will kick off with a practical workshop: “How to Interpret ECG in American Athletes of All Ages.” Forgoing the great ECG debate, this session strives to prepare clinicians to interpret athlete ECGs in any age group. It covers current athlete ECG interpretation criteria, evolution of ECGs in adolescence, and “how to” read an athlete ECG. Sanjay Sharma, MD, FACC, of the United Kingdom, a specialist in cardiac inherited diseases, medical director of the London Marathon, and a recognized authority on ECG screening of elite athletes, will be leading attendees through the “how to.” Personally, I can’t think of anyone more qualified to handle this job!

Since sports cardiology begins with knowledge of exercise physiology and cardiac adaptation, the next session will devote two hours to “Basic Exercise Physiology and Endurance Sports Cardiology.”  After this, the professional team sports cardiologists take charge with lessons learned from American football, basketball and soccer. Fred Bove, MD, MACC, a past president of the ACC and the Philadelphia 76ers cardiologist, will answer the question: “Why Are Basketball Athletes So High Risk?” In addition, members of the ACC Sports and Exercise Section will present a series of real-world athlete cases that will be discussed by a panel of experts. The lunch hour section meeting will provide plenty of opportunities to network with peers.

Friday afternoon will feature a discussion on “50 Shades of Grey Zone Athlete” (don’t be fooled by its playful title), which aims to deliver what every clinician working with athletes needs to know in day-to-day practice; that is, how to distinguish normal athletic adaptation from pathology. The concept of “grey zone” is not limited to the left ventricle. Wall thickness, cavity size, ejection fraction, right ventricular morphology, and repolarization (T waves, Q-T interval, and S-T segments), frequently cause troublesome ambiguity. Faculty will explore practical solutions to these diagnostic conundrums, while ACC Sports and Exercise Section Co-Chair Michael Emery, MD, FACC, tackles liability issues in: “Legal Implications of Return to Play (RTP): How to Make RTP Decisions and Stay Out of the Deep End.”

Cutting-edge sports cardiology research is also a Friday highlight. Faculty members Paul Thompson, MD, FACC, and Ben Levine, MD, FACC, will introduce key studies (already published) and potential research directions in sports cardiology. New for 2014, original research contributions will be presented by authors. The planning team is extremely proud of the quality of the research being presented, and feels that it represents some of the hottest topics in sports cardiology today, ranging from “Feasibility and Inter-Observer Variability for Identification of Coronary Arterial Ostia” to “AEDs in Nebraska Schools: Evidence of Availability and Efficacy” (and as first author on this one, all I can say for now is that the results may surprise you). Additional research will be on display as posters throughout the duration of the conference.

Saturday, Sept. 13

The youth athlete will be the focus of much of Saturday. Bill Roberts, MD, former president of the American College of Sports Medicine, medical director of the Twin Cities Marathon, and the chair of the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee for the Minnesota State High School League, will address “Primary and Secondary Prevention of Sudden Cardiac Arrest in the US,” while Dr. Sharma shares the European experience. We’ve heard a lot over the years about the most common cause of sudden cardiac arrest in athletes (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy); but, what about the second most common?  ACC Sports and Exercise Section Co-Chair Silvana Lawrence, MD, FACC, discusses “Congenital Coronary Anomalies: Major Player or Mere Spectator?”

Finally, while clinicians might restrict patients with established heart disease from rigorous sports, an exercise prescription is still warranted. We don’t want our patients to be complete couch potatoes! “Exercise Prescription for the Athlete with a Cardiac Condition” is covered in the last session on Saturday. Here, clinicians receive guidance on how much activity to prescribe in athlete-patients with congenital heart disease, aortic disease, cardiomyopathy, coronary artery disease and/or atrial fibrillation.

Learn more about the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Summit and register here.

This post is part of a series of posts from the ACC’s Sports and Exercise Cardiology Section. For more information about the Section, click here. Follow the sports and exercise cardiology conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SportsCardio.


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