Vol 14, No 1 (2007)
Original articles
Published online: 2006-12-01

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Echocardiographic evaluation of left ventricular morphology and function in young male football players and runners

Piraye Kervancioglu i E. Savas Hatipoglu
Cardiol J 2007;14(1):37-43.

Abstract

Background: Long-term physical exercise leads to left ventricular morphological adaptations, which vary with the kind of sport and the intensity and extent of the training. Although the echocardiographic changes related to exercise in athletes participating in various sports have been well described, changes associated with football players have been less well documented.
The aim of this study was to investigate the morphological adaptations of the heart to athletic training and to compare by means of echocardiography the left ventricular dimensions, masses and systolic functions of runners and football players.
Methods: A total of 40 male football players, 18 male long and middle-distance runners and 25 sedentary males were enrolled to the study and M-mode and two-dimensional echocardiograms with Doppler analysis were performed in all subjects.
Results: The runners and football players were shown to have significantly greater left ventricular end-diastolic internal dimensions, left ventricular mass (corrected for body mass, height and body surface area), end-diastolic interventricular septum thicknesses and ejection fraction values than a control group. The present results show no significant difference between the left ventricular adaptations of runners and football players except when the left ventricular mass is indexed with body mass, the runners being thinner.
Conclusions: The present results show that the echocardiographic findings of left ventricular adaptations in runners and football players are quite similar and lead to physiological enlargement of the heart. (Cardiol J 2007; 14: 37–43)

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