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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 1998 June;38(2):164-8

language: English

The elec­tro­car­di­o­graph­ic T ­wave chang­es in high­ly ­trained ath­letes dur­ing train­ing. An old prob­lem revis­it­ed

Spataro A., La Mura G., Marcello G., Alabiso A., Naccari D., Pelliccia A.

Italian Rowing National Federation, Institute of Sport Science, Department of Sport Medicine, CONI, Rome, Italy


Objective. To eval­u­ate the T-­wave pat­tern alter­a­tions dur­ing vig­or­ous train­ing in ­elite ath­letes.
Setting. Institute of Sport Science in Rome and National Rowing Center in Piediluco, Italy.
Study pop­u­la­tion. Nine ­male and 7 ­female row­ers of the nation­al ­team ­were exam­ined pros­pec­tive­ly at dif­fer­ent ­times of ­their con­di­tion­ing peri­od.
Methods. All ath­letes under­went elec­tro­car­di­og­ra­phy and ech­o­-car­di­og­ra­phy; the ecg was anal­yzed for QRS volt­ag­es and ­axis, T-­wave pat­tern and QTc inter­val; ­from ech­o­car­di­og­ra­phy the ­left ven­tric­u­lar (LV) cav­ity dimen­sion, ­wall thick­ness and ­mass ­were cal­cu­lat­ed. From Doppler-ech­o­car­di­og­ra­phy the trans­mi­tral dia­stol­ic LV fill­ing pat­tern was eval­u­at­ed.
Results. Variation of T-­wave volt­ag­es was ­seen in all the ath­letes. Spe­cif­i­cal­ly, dur­ing the low-inten­sity train­ing peri­od the T-­wave pat­tern was pos­i­tive and ­increased in volt­age (T-­wave max ampli­tude in V6 ­increased to 130% in ­male and 100% in ­female ­than pre­train­ing val­ues). Dur­ing the ­peak train­ing a varie­ty of pat­terns was ­observed, and a tran­sient flat­ten­ing was ­present in 50% of sub­jects. No con­com­i­tant alter­a­tion of ­heart ­rate, QRS and T-­wave ­axis and QTc dura­tion ­were ­observed. No sig­nif­i­cant chang­es of cav­ity dimen­sion, ­wall thick­ness, LV ­mass ­index and Doppler-­derived dia­stol­ic ­peak ­flow veloc­ities ­were detect­ed dur­ing the ­study peri­od.
Conclusions. Transient chang­es of T-­wave pat­tern may ­occur in ath­letes as an ­effect of ath­let­ic con­di­tion­ing, with­out chang­es of car­diac dimen­sion or alter­a­tion of index­es of LV func­tion. This find­ing sup­ports the ­role of ecg mon­i­tor­ing to fol­low-up the indi­vid­u­al ath­letes ­response to train­ing exer­cise ­load.

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