A quantitative echocardiographic study of champion childhood swimmers.
An echocardiographic evaluation of 77 members of a championship childhood swim team showed dimensional variations from normal in most athletes. Cardiac walls were thicker than the 95th percentile of normal: right ventricular anterior wall exceeded the 95th percentile in 100%, interventricular septum in 83% and left ventricular posterior wall in 91%. The left ventricular and left atrial cavities in diastole had mean values at the 50th percentile of normal but showed considerable scatter. The left ventricular cavity in systole had a mean value less than the 5th percentile of normal and also showed wide scatter. The aortic root and the aortic intercusp dimension exceeded the 95th percentile of normal in most subjects, 74% and 77%, respectively. No correlation existed between the coach's estimate of championship ability and echocardiographic wall or chamber sizes. Children who participate extensively in athletic training programs such as swimming may have echocardiograms which are quantitatively different from those of nonathletic younsters.
- Copyright © 1977 by American Heart Association