Abstract 257: Left Ventricular Mechanical Systole in Elite Athletes Assessed by 3D Echocardiography
Background: We sought to evaluate left ventricular (LV) mechanical systole comparatively in elite athletes and sedentary controls by 3-dimensional echocardiography (3DE).
Methods: 426 athletes, involved in skill (n=41), strength (n=100), combined (n=127), and endurance (n=158) disciplines and 62 controls, matched for age, underwent 3DE. By LV volume-time curve, the time from the beginning of the QRS complex to the minimum systolic volume was considered to be the mechanical systole and expressed as percent of the heart cycle (TMSV%). The ratio between stroke volume and ejection time was also calculated (dV/dT).
Results: Heart rate was lower in skill (61±12bpm; p<0.001), strength (58±10 bpm; p<0.001), combined (57±10 bpm; p<0.001) and endurance (53±10 bpm; p<0.001) athletes compared to controls (75±12 bpm). LV end-diastolic volume was larger in strength (150±35 ml; p<0.001), combined (158±29 ml; p<0.001) and endurance (178±32 ml; p<0.001) but not in skill (127±30 ml; p<0.001) athletes vs. controls (111±27 ml). The TMSV% was shorter in skill (31±4 %; p<0.001), strength (31±5 %; p<0.001), combined (31±4 %; p<0.001) and endurance (29±4%; p<0.001) athletes compared to controls (40±5%). In addition, higher values for dV/dT were identified in skill (256±60 ml/s; p<0.001), strength (297±78 ml/s; p<0.001), combined (308±67 ml/s; p<0.001), and endurance (334±74 ml/s; p<0.001) athletes vs controls (212±58 ml/s).
Conclusion: Elite athletes show a significant shortening of relative systolic ejection time in comparison to sedentary controls, in association with a significant increase in LV emptying velocity. These adaptations may contribute to enhance LV systolic function.