Myocardial Dystrophy in Athletes

A New Approach to an Old Problem
  • V. Zemtsovsky


It is recognized that moderate and properly selected physical exercises play an important role in strengthening of health and prophylaxis of diseases of cardiovascular system (CVS) (Blair et al, 1989). On the contrary, excessive physical loads, so typical of modern sports, can result in overstrain of CVS. Today different causes of high risk of sudden death due to physical loads (Jaeger, 1990; Maron, 1993), high frequency of various arrhythmias and idiopathic calcinosis of valve apparatus and under valvular structures in athletes are widely discussed in the literature. These facts are explained in absolutely different ways among which the least attention is given to the role of CVS overstrain and possibility of “pathologic athlete’s heart”. The concept of “pathologic athlete’s heart” and myocardial dystrophy (MD) was proposed by G.Ph. Lang (1936). The term MD in the narrow sense of the ‘word was considered by G.Ph. Lang as all myocardial impairments of non-inflammatory and non-coronary genesis provoked by various extracardiac causes. To indicate the myocardial impairments in athletes, the term MD due to physical overload was proposed later (Dembo, 1991). A.G. Dembo proposed that this diagnosis be applied in all cases of repolarisation disturbances (RD) on the resting ECG.


Myocardial Hypertrophy Physical Load Sinus Sick Syndrome Dystrophic Change Pathogenic Type 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blair, S. N., Kohl, H. W., Poffenbarger, R. S. et al.,1989, Physical Fitness and all-cause mortality a prespective study of healthy men and women, JAMA 262: 2395–2401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Danko, J. I., Cusnetsov, G. I., Loginov, V. G., 1986, Motivation as one of causes repolarisation disturbances in athletes, 3 Russian congress of sports medicine, Sverdlovsk:118.Google Scholar
  3. Dembo, A. G., 1991, Dieseases of cardiovascular system, — In “Dieseases and injures in Athletes”. — Edited by A.G. Dembo, Leningrad, Medicine:336.Google Scholar
  4. Dibner, R. D., 1986, About differencial diagnosis of chronic hear overstrain in athletes, Cardiologia:108–111.Google Scholar
  5. Jaeger, 1990, La most subite dans la pratique du sport, Comment en reduire l’incidence? Ann.cardiol.Angeol. 39:565–570Google Scholar
  6. Lang, G. Ph., 1936, Questions of cardiology, M., Medicine: 189.Google Scholar
  7. Maron, B. J., 1993, Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in athletes, The Physical and Sportsmedicine 21:83–91.Google Scholar
  8. Sarkisov, D. C., Vtyurin, B. V., 1971, Myocardial dystrophia, it reversibility and way of prophylaxis in book Myocardial dystrophya, Leningrad:69–78.Google Scholar
  9. Seals, D. R. et al., 1988, Left ventricular difsunction after prolonged strenuous exercise in healthyy subjects, Am.J.Cardiol. 61:875–879.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Zemtsovsky, E. V., 1994, Myocardial dystrophya in athletes, Cardiology 34:656–74.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. Zemtsovsky
    • 1
  1. 1.Pediatric Medical AcademiaSt. PetersburgRussia

Personalised recommendations