3D echocardiographic analysis of elite kayak/canoe athletes
█ Original article
Ujvári Adrienn, Komka Zsolt, Kántor Zoltán, Lakatos Bálint Károly, Tokodi Márton, Doronina Alexandra, Babity Máté, Bognár Csaba, Kiss Orsolya, Merkely Béla, Kovács Attila
Semmelweis Egyetem, Városmajori Szív- és Érgyógyászati Klinika, Budapest
Aims: Regular, vigorous physical exercise resuls in complex cardiovascular adaptation including changes in cardiac structure and function (athlete’s heart). 3D echocardiography represents a novel and promising modality for a better understanding of the volumetric and myocardial mechanical changes of the athlete’s heart. Our aim was to characterize cardiac morphology and function of elite kayak or canoe athletes using 3D echocardiography and to compare with healthy, sedentary volunteers.
Patients and methods: Eleven elite kayak or canoe athletes including numerous olympic-, world-, European- or national champions were enrolled. Ten healthy, sedentary volunteers served as control group. Beyond standard 2D echocardiographic protocol, 3D full volume acquisitions were acquired from apical approach. Left and right ventricular volumes, ejection fraction and longitudinal strain values were measured by dedicated 3D software environment.
Results: Left ventricular end-diastolic, end-systolic and stroke volumes and mass were higher among athletes. Left ventricular ejection fraction was preserved, however, was lower compared to the control group. Left ventricular global longitudinal strain was also lower in the athletes. In parallel, right ventricular end-diastolic, end-systolic and stroke volumes were higher, ejection fraction was lower among athletes. Correspondingly, both right ventricular free-wall and septal longitudinal strain were lower in athletes.
Conclusions: Athlete’s heart of elite kayak or canoe athletes is characterized by significantly increased left and right ventricular volumes. At rest, the systolic function of both ventricles is maintained, however, ejection fraction and longitudinal strain values are lower compared to healthy controls.