CAtCH Net – Athlete Screening

Community & Athlete Cardiovascular Health Network

Canada’s First Centre of Excellence for the Cardiovascular Screening and Care of the Athlete Program.

Sudden cardiac death is the leading medical cause of death among athletes. Canada’s universities lack a national cardiovascular pre-participation screening program, leading to tremendous variation in practice. To remedy this problem, the Canadian Cardiovascular Society (CCS) commissioned an expert Group to deliver Canada’s first recommendations for screening. To scale up this achievement, the CCS Sport Group now poses a critical question: “How do we build a Canadian network for translation of the new Cardiovascular Screening and Care of the Athlete Program?”

We answer this question through the development and evaluation of Canada’s first Community & Athletic Cardiovascular Health Network (CAtCH) Centre of Excellence at Queen’s University. This program involves the development of a `CCS Sport Group Module’ which will be a standardized, transferable, guideline-driven, screening questionnaire accessible via an on-line portal. In addition, the program will translate the application of point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) to augment the physical examination of the athlete and evaluate a new clinical workflow process for athlete ECG screening. The program will serve as the prototype for subsequent implementation on a national scale, enhancing care of athletes across Canada.

The SHARP Study

We recruited 50 athletes from 14 different varsity teams including basketball, football, rugby, rowing, and hockey at Queen’s University.  We worked closely in collaboration with the Athletics department. We found that the use of POCUS by non-cardiologists for screening athletes was highly feasible and could be used as a potential tool for detecting risk factors of sudden cardiac death.  This preliminary work has been very well received and we presented it as an oral presentation at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress in Montreal, October 2016.


  1. Grubic N, Jain S, Mihajlovic, Thornton JS, & Johri AM. (2021) Competing against COVID-19: have we forgotten about student-athletes’ mental health? British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  2. McKinney J, Johri AM, Poirier P, Fournier A, Goodman JM, Moulson N, Pipe A, Philippon F, Taylor T, Connelly K, Dorian P. (2019) Canadian Cardiovascular Society Cardiovascular Screening of Competitive Athletes: The Utility of the Screening Electrocardiogram to Predict Sudden Cardiac Death. Can J Cardiol. 35(11):1557-1566. Review.
  3. Cassels M, Moulson N, Regan J, MacDonald M, Isserow S, Johri AM, McKinney J. (2019) Point‐of‐Care Ultrasound as a Component of Preparticipation Screening of Athletes: A Systematic Review. (in press – Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine).
  4. Grubic N, Baranchuck A, Johri AM (2019) An Athlete’s Journey Through Cardiovascular Screening: Applying a Non-Binary Approach to Sports Participation/Restriction Using Shared-Decision Making. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 35(7):941.e3-941.e4.
  5. Johri AM, Poirier P, Dorian P, Fournier A, Goodman JM, McKinney J, Moulson N, Pipe A, Taylor T (2019) Canadian Cardiovascular Society/Canadian Heart Rhythm Society Joint Position Statement on the Cardiovascular Screening of Competitive Athletes. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 35(1):1-11.
  6. Moulson N, Jaff Z, Wiltshire V, Taylor T, O’Connor HM, Hopman WM, Johri AM (2019) Feasibility and Reliability of Non-expert POCUS for Cardiovascular Pre-participation Screening of Varsity Athletes: The SHARP Protocol. Canadian Journal of Cardiology. 35(1):35-41.
  7. Moulson N, Kuljic N, McKinney J, Taylor T, Hopman WM, Johri AM. (2018). Variation in Preparticipation Screening Medical Questionnaires and Physical Examinations Across Canadian Universities. Can J Cardiol. 34(7):933-936.
  8. Moulson N, Wiltshire V, Taylor T, O’Connor H, A.M. Johri AM (2016) Screening the heart of an athlete research program (SHARP): Feasibility of point of care ultrasound for screening of varsity athletes. Canadian Journal of Cardiology, 32(10):S265. (abstract)
Funded by SEAMO Innovation Fund