NFL considering use of echocardiograms to detect heart problems

NEW YORK -- The NFL's medical committee is discussing giving players echocardiograms in the wake of Chicago Bears defensive end Gaines Adams' death this month.

Adams died Jan. 17 of an enlarged heart, something an echocardiogram can detect. NFL teams already give extensive physicals to players. Stress testing and echocardiograms are conducted when the results of the physical, an EKG and family history indicate the need.

NFL medical people and outside experts who sit on the league's cardiovascular health committee previously have discussed making echocardiograms standard. They're doing so again, pending the final pathologists' report on Adams.

But some cardiologists warn there could be risks, such as misdiagnoses, to making echocardiograms standard in a physical exam.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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