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Left ventricular strain values are unaffected by intense training: a longitudinal, speckle-tracking study

Session Poster session 3

Speaker Assistant Professor Flavio D'Ascenzi

Event : EuroEcho 2015

  • Topic : preventive cardiology
  • Sub-topic : Athlete´s Heart
  • Session type : Poster Session

Authors : F D'ascenzi (Siena,IT), A Pelliccia (Rome,IT), F Alvino (Siena,IT), M Solari (Siena,IT), M Cameli (Siena,IT), M Focardi (Siena,IT), M Bonifazi (Siena,IT), S Mondillo (Siena,IT)

F D'ascenzi1 , A Pelliccia2 , F Alvino1 , M Solari1 , M Cameli1 , M Focardi1 , M Bonifazi3 , S Mondillo1 , 1University of Siena, Department of Medical Biotechnologies, Division of Cardiology - Siena - Italy , 2Institute of Sport Medicine and Science CONI - Rome - Italy , 3University of Siena, Department of Medicine, Surgery, and NeuroScience - Siena - Italy ,

Eur Heart J Cardiovasc Imaging Abstracts Supplement ( 2015 ) 16 ( Supplement 2 ), ii120

Purpose: Left ventricular (LV) longitudinal strain, a recognized marker of LV function, has been recently applied to the evaluation of the athlete's heart. While several cross-sectional studies are available, little is known about the influence of training on LV global longitudinal strain (GLS) in athletes. The aim of this study was to prospectively investigate the impact of training on LV longitudinal strain in a cohort of top-level athletes.

Methods: Ninety-one top-level athletes, practicing team sports and competing at national or international level, were analysed. Echocardiographic evaluation was performed at the beginning of the season (low-training) and after 18 ± 2 weeks of a supervised, intensive training program (peak-training). Results. A significant increase in LV mass (p<.0001), LV end-diastolic and end-systolic volume (p=.0001 and p<.0001, respectively) was found at peak-training. LV basal and apical torsion (p=.59 and p=.43, respectively) and LV twisting (p=.78) did not change, and only a mild increase in LV GLS was evident after training (p<.05). Conversely, neither global circumferential strain nor global radial strain did significantly change. Resting heart rate was identified as the only independent predictor of LV strain after training (β=0.30, p=.005).

Conclusions: A 18-week, intensive training program induces only a slight increase in LV GLS and neither in global circumferential strain nor in global radial strain did change in top-level athletes practicing team sports, despite marked morphologic cardiac changes. Thus, markedly altered strain indexes are uncommon features in athlete's heart, cannot be considered as a physiological adaptation to exercise training,and should warrant further investigations to detect possibile early cardiomyopathies.

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