ECG Interpretation- “International Criteria”

BJSM Course Link

About this course

Sudden death from intrinsic cardiac conditions remains the leading cause of mortality in athletes during sport. In this context, a resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) is utilised as a diagnostic tool in the cardiovascular evaluation of both symptomatic and asymptomatic athletes for conditions associated with sudden cardiac death (SCD). Modules are based on a series of articles in the BJSM written by an international expert panel.

The modules start by identifying benign ECG changes seen in athletes, particularly those that reflect physiological electrical and structural remodelling or autonomic nervous system adaptations that occur as a consequence of regular and sustained physical activity. The modules then explore ECG changes that can indicate a variety of cardiomyopathies or primary electrical diseases.

As well as assisting any physician in the context of ECG interpretation and the cardiovascular care of athletes, these modules also provide valuable lessons in interpreting ECGs and highlight dangerous ECG patterns that may be found in any patient.

Learning outcomes

After completing this course you should be able to:

  • Recognise ECG findings in athletes that are part of normal physiological adaptation
  • Recognise ECG changes associated with cardiomyopathies, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC), dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and left-ventricular non-compaction (LVNC)
  • Calculate the corrected QT interval using an appropriate formula
  • Recognise common early repolarisation patterns in athletes and distinguish these from pathological findings
  • Recognise ECG changes in accessory pathways and supraventricular tachycardias
  • Describe the evaluation and secondary testing of ECG abnormalities to assess for a pathological cardiac disorder.


  • “Excellent!!” 25.10.2015  GP/Family Physician, Cardiology, AR
  • “Useful, well organized, and clinically relevant.” 12.10.2015 Specialist Trainee/Resident, Sports and Exercise Medicine, ES
  • “Amazing. Great didactic teaching along with many examples. The large number of quizzes ensures you’ll remember everything.” 03.10.2015 Other, Cardiology, US
  • “Great course, with excellent examples. Really well organized. Recommended!” 19.09.2015 Other, Sports and Exercise Medicine, PT
  • “This was an excellent course of modules which helped me to bring together much of the learning from the ECG skills course here. I had thought it would be a little specialised but found it covered much of direct relevance to my work in GP. I have applied the knowledge gained here to my own patients and it has been invaluable and most useful. ” 06.09.2015 GP/Family Physician, General Practice, GB
  • “Excellent course” 02.09.2015 Other, General Practice, GB
  • “This course was great. I am making it part of my resident sports medicine curriculum” 31.08.2015 GP/Family Physician, General Practice, US
  • “EXCELLENT OVERVIEW” 23.07.2015 Specialist/Consultant, Emergency Medicine, GB
  • “Well conceived with excellent clinical correlation! Highly recommended for School Physicians and those conducting pre-employment examinations.” 10.07.2015 Other, Acute Internal Medicine, PH
  • “Excellent course. I appreciate the effort that went into it. To make it quicker, some of the redundancies could be trimmed out, but then again the repetition helped me learn. Maybe having bigger ECG tracings would make them easier to read. ” 28.06.2015 Other, Rehabilitation Medicine, US