Should children be screened with an EKG prior to starting stimulants for ADHD?

According to some cardiologists, the answer is yes.

However, MedPage Today reports that, in a recent study presented at the American College of Cardiology meetings, the positive predictive value of such a strategy was low, and that, “To screen enough children to identify one with complex congenital heart disease or potentially life-threatening arrhythmia, the cost was $42,904.”

Pediatricians have challenged this finding, calling mass screening for children, where an increasing number are being diagnosed with ADHD, “overkill.”

I’m a little skeptical myself, since more EKG screening will also generate business for cardiologists, as abnormal findings will lead to more tests, such as echocardiograms and Holter monitors, in addition to cardiology consultations.

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