Texas Takes on Screening Young Hearts

This screening approach includes an MRI. This is not included in most of the heart screenings offered around the country so this should yield some interesting data.

Alaina Dixon had no idea she had heart problems until she collapsed in cardiac arrest 25 yards from the finish line at the Chevron Houston Marathon in January 2011. Because race organizers had emergency cardiac equipment on hand, Dixon survived to run another day.

What Dixon didn’t know is that she suffered from one of a few known heart anomalies that are easily detectable with the right kind of screening, but which produce few or no symptoms until sudden cardiac arrest. Only about 4 percent of the victims of this type of cardiac arrest survive, and most of the victims are young athletes in middle school, high school or college. Yet, with detection and treatment, cardiac arrest and death from these anomalies can be largely avoided.

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