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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2000 June;40(2):150-5


language: English

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.

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