Heart Vessels 2004 Jul;19(4):183-8
Istanbul University, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Department of Sports Medicine and Cardiology, Ersek Cardiovascular Surgery Center, Istanbul, Turkey.
The aim of this study was to determine left ventricular (LV) morphology and aortic function in power athletes and to compare them with normal subjects. Thirty-two elite male wrestlers and 15 age-matched healthy male controls were included. All subjects underwent echocardiographic examination. Measurements included LV cavity dimension at systole and diastole, wall thickness, diastolic parameters, and aortic diameter, 3 cm above aortic valve, at systole and diastole. Left ventricular mass and mass index were found to be higher in the athletes than in control subjects. The aortic distensibility index was found to be reduced in the athletes compared with controls (2.53 +/- 0.91 vs 3.94 +/- 1.77 cm(2) dyne(-1) 10(-6), P = 0.003), while the aortic stiffness index was significantly higher in the athletes than in controls (9.12 +/- 3.23 vs 6.65 +/- 2.35, P = 0.02). However, LV end-systolic wall stress was lower in the athletes than in controls. Furthermore, transmitral early ( E) and late ( A) peak velocity, peak velocity of the myocardial systolic wave ( S(m)), and early ( E(m)) and atrial ( A(m)) diastolic waves at the inferior wall were higher in the athletes than in controls. Reduced aortic distensibility in elite power athletes may be one of the cardiovascular adaptation factors which affect LV hypertrophy.