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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2000 June;40(2):150-5
Echocardiographic findings in professional league soccer players. Effect of the position of the players on the echocardiographic parameters
Sözen A. B., Akkaya V., Demirel S., Kudat H., Tükek T., Ünal M. *, Beyaz M. M. *, Güven Ö., Korkut F.
From the Cardiovascular Research Center
* Department of Sports Physiology Istanbul Faculty of Medicine University of Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey
Background. The purpose of the study was to compare the echocardiographic parameters of soccer players to healthy controls and to assess the effect of the position of the soccer players on the echocardiographic findings.
Methods. M Mode 2D and Doppler echocardiographic examination were carried out on 83 professional league soccer players and 52 healthy controls.
Results. Soccer players had increased interventricular septum (1.14±0.13 cm vs 0.99±0.17 cm, p<0.001) left ventricular posterior wall (1.08±0.16 cm vs 0.91±0.13 cm, p<0.001) thickness, increased left ventricular diastolic diameter (5.24±0.40 cm vs 4.88±0.43 cm, p<0.001), volume (133±23 ml vs 113±22 ml, p<0.001) and increased left ventricular mass index (142±28 g/m2 vs 103±23 g/m2, p<0.001) compared to controls. Soccer players had greater mitral E wave to A wave ratio (2.08±0.53 vs 1.65±0.43, p<0.001) compared to controls. Soccer players were subgrouped according to their position in the play as goal keepers, defensive, midfielder, and offensive players. Comparison among defensive, midfield and offensive players revealed subtle differences between defensive and midfield players. Right ventricular dimensions were higher in goal keepers compared to midfielders due to the greater body surface area of the goal keepers (2.8±0.4 cm vs 2.4±0.5 cm, p<0.05). Left ventricle end diastolic dimension were similar between groups but when these dimensions were corrected for the greater height of the defensive players the difference between midfields and defensive players became significant (3.05±0.18 vs 2.89±0.22, p=0.05). On Doppler flow parameters the ratio of peak E wave to A wave velocity (2.27±0.55 vs 1.84±0.36, p<0.05) was increased in midfield players compared to defensive players.
Conclusions. It was concluded that soccer players had greater left ventricular wall thickness, volume and mass compared to controls. But the effect of the position of the players on the measured cardiac dimensions were minimal. These subtle findings were explained by the leveling effect of the playing system and training, and lack of physical training during the previous month.