Cardiac Fitness Assessment for Children

Children and adolescents are encouraged to participate in different sports activities and training to promote their health, to enlarge their social circles and to live a life in pursuit of excellence. However, there is always a concern if a youngster is physically fit to attend sports activities, especially for more competitive sports and intensive training.

In many developed countries, young athletes or athletes-to-be are required to attend cardiac health screening-the pre-participation cardiovascular evaluation. One objective of this evaluation is to detect underlying cardiovascular abnormalities that may predispose an athlete to serious cardiovascular events and sudden death. The leading cardiovascular causes of sudden death in young athletes include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congenital coronary artery anomalies, serious forms of arrhythmia, and Marfan syndrome. Because these abnormalities are rare and difficult to detect clinically, it is recommended that physicians use standardized history questions and examination techniques during assessment.

What is included in the Cardiac Fitness Assessment?

Children or adolescents, accompanied by their parents, are asked about family history of cardiac disease and sudden death; personal cardiac history; and exercise-related symptoms, especially syncope, chest pain, and palpitations. The physical examination should include blood pressure measurement and a thorough cardiovascular examination. Electrocardiographic assessment, both at rest and during exercise (treadmill exercise test) will be performed to exclude arrhythmia. Echocardiogram will be done to exclude abnormal cardiac function or structural cardiac anomalies. Children or adolescents with"red flag" signs or symptoms may need activity restriction or special testing.

Who should join the Assessment?

Children aged 8 - 18 years old

Check-up Items

  • Resting ECG
  • Treadmill Exercise Stress Test
  • 2D Echocardiography
  • Report interpreted and explained by specialist paediatrician




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