Analysis of right and left ventricular deformation in former world class swimmers - evaluation using speckle tracking

Christian Knackstedt, Ursula Hildebrandt, K Schmidt, L Syrocki, Andreas Lang, Birna Bjarnason-Wehrens, G Schummers, D Stapf, Maria Becker, Hans-Georg Predel

Publication: Contribution to journalJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


AIM: There is a longstanding debate over the longterm effect of intensive endurance training on cardiac function. Usually, echocardiography has been used as a global evaluation of left ventricular (LV) or right ventricular (RV) function and dimensions. Recently, speckle tracking strain (ST) has provided an analysis of regional RV and LV function. Thus, the intention of the study was to carefully evaluate cardiac function in a group of former world class swimmers applying longitudinal strain (LS) and circumferential strain (CS) analysis.

METHODS: 12 athletes (45±1.5 years) of a former training group involved in high intensity endurance training were examined 24.9±4.3 years after the end of their active swimming career. An echocardiography was performed and LV function was analyzed based on CS and LS. Also, LS was evaluated for the RV. All measurements were performed for epicardium and endocardium independently. Results: Mean LV endocardial LS was 20.0±6.3 and epicardial LS 20.2±6.2. LV endocardial CS was 21.3± 8.0 and epicardial CS 11.9±4.2. RV endocardial LS had a mean value of 26.4±6.1 and epicardial LS of 28.2± 5.6.

CONCLUSION: 25 years after the cessation of endurance training there was no evidence of a deterioration of RV or LV function as values for RV and LV strain measurements were within normal ranges.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)978-987
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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