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Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
Online ISSN 1827-1928
Malmgren A. 1, Dencker M. 1, Stagmo M. 2, Gudmundsson P. 3
1 Department of Medical Imaging and Physiology, Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö, Lund University, Sweden;
2 Department of Heart‑ and Lung Diseases, Skåne University Hospital, Lund, Sweden;
3 Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, Malmö University, Malmö, Sweden
AIM: Long-term intensive endurance training leads to increased left ventricular mass and increased left ventricular end-diastolic and left atrial end-systolic diameters. Different types of sports tend to give rise to distinct morphological forms of the athlete’s heart. However, the sport-specific aspects have not been fully investigated in female athletes. The purpose of the present study was to investigate differences in left and right cardiac dimensions, cardiac volumes, and systolic and diastolic function in elite female handball players compared to sedentary controls.
METHODS: A cross-sectional study of 33 elite female handball players was compared to 33 matched sedentary controls. Mean age was 21.5±2 years. The subjects underwent echocardiography examinations, both 2-dimensional (2DE) and 3-dimensional (3DE). Cardiac dimensions and volumes were quantified using M-mode, 2DE and 3DE. Systolic and diastolic left ventricular functions were also evaluated. All cardiac dimensions and volumes were adjusted for body surface area (BSA).
RESULTS: Left atrium and left ventricle volumes were significantly (P<0.001) larger in elite female handball players compared with sedentary controls. Even right atrium area as well as right ventricular end-diastolic and end-systolic area were significantly (P<0.001) larger in elite female handball players. Significant differences were observed in three out of five systolic parameters. Most diastolic function parameters did not differ between the two groups.
CONCLUSION: The findings from the present study suggest that similar cardiac remodeling takes place in elite female handball players as it does in athletes pursuing endurance or team game sports.