European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 96, Issue 6, pp 740–746

Adaptation of left ventricular morphology to long−term training in sprint− and endurance−trained elite runners

  • Alejandro Legaz Arrese
  • Mariano González Carretero
  • Isaac Lacambra Blasco
Original Article

Abstract

Long−term studies on left ventricular (LV) adaptation have not been reported. The echocardiograms of 41 top−class runners (8 males and 6 females sprint−trained, 15 males and 12 females endurance−trained) were recorded at the beginning and after 1, 2, and 3 years of training. A one−way ANOVA and a linear regression analysis were conducted to determine changes and association between performance and LV values. Training resulted in an increase in performance and LV internal diameter at end−diastole (LVIDd) and decreases in end−diastolic interventricular septal wall thickness, and posterior wall thickness (PWTd). There were no significant differences in LV mass and LV ejection fraction (LVEF, %). The changes in PWTd were linked to enlargement of the LV. In athletes with unusual LV dilatation (>60 mm), LVIDd was related to performance and LVEF was >50%. Maximal wall thickness was <13 mm in all athletes. LV adaptations were independent of sex and type of training and related to the initial level of performance. We believe that LV enlargement in elite runners is a physiological adaptation and that the LVIDd is a predictor of running performance.

Keywords

Exercise Echocardiography Elite runners Running performance Ventricles Cardiac enlargament 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alejandro Legaz Arrese
    • 1
  • Mariano González Carretero
    • 2
  • Isaac Lacambra Blasco
    • 2
  1. 1.Departmento de Fisiatría y EnfermeríaUniversidad de ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Division of Cardiology, Echocardiography LaboratoryClinical University HospitalZaragozaSpain

Personalised recommendations