The majority of marathon deaths are caused by sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), which occur in approximately 1 in 57,000 runners. Such deaths are more common among older males and usually occur in the last 4 miles of the racecourse. Although prompt resuscitation, including early use of an automated external defibrillator (AED), improves survival, the deployment of enough trained medical staff and AEDs is difficult due to increased cost. Moreover, most victims of exercise-related SCA have no premonitory symptoms. Therefore, we tried to use a novel approach to prevent sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) related to SCA using real-time electrocardiographic tele-monitoring system, as an initial trial to assess operative possibility in a full marathon. As a result, 3 out of 5 runners had reasonable measurement results and sufficient tele-monitoring without complications related to this trial was possible. However, many investigations and improvements, such as improving cost-effectiveness, reducing noise, and automating the monitoring system, are needed for practical application of these devices for athletes. As a next step, we would establish a novel strategy to reduce SCDs in athletes using next-generation devices, which include an alarm system associated with early application of AED. <Learning objectives: Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a major problem in sports cardiology. Here we investigated a novel approach using a real-time tele-monitoring system of electrocardiogram (ECG) to prevent sudden cardiac deaths by making use of an advanced alarm system which responds to SCA risk. Three out of five cases we monitored showed reasonable measurement of ECG with centralized observation in full marathon. This is the first report of this method, which may lead to the effective application of automated external defibrillator in athletes.>

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-38
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Cardiology Cases
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019


  • Automated external defibrillator
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Marathon runners
  • Real-time tele-monitoring
  • Sports cardiology
  • Sudden cardiac arrest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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