Superior cardiac mechanics without structural adaptations in pre-adolescent soccer players
Rowland, Thomas. W.
Unnithan, Viswanath. B.
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Aims: This study aimed to evaluate left ventricular (LV) structure, function and mechanics, in highly-trained, pre-adolescent soccer players (SP) compared to age- and sex-matched controls (CON). Design: The study design was a prospective, cross-sectional comparison of LV structure, function and mechanics. Methods: Twenty-two male SP from two professional youth soccer academies (age: 12.0±0.3 years) and twenty-two recreationally active CON (age: 11.7±0.3 years) were recruited. Two-dimensional conventional and speckle tracking echocardiography were used to quantify LV structure, function and peak/temporal values for LV strain and twist, respectively. Results: End-diastolic volume index was larger in SP (51 ± 8 mm/(m2)1.5 vs. 45 ± 6 mm/(m2)1.5; p=0.007) and concentricity was lower in SP (4.3 ± 0.7 g/(mL)0.667 vs. 4.9 ± 1.0 g/(mL)0.667; p=0.017), without differences in mean wall thickness between groups (6.0 ± 0.4 mm vs. 6.1 ± 0.5 mm; p=0.754). Peak circumferential strain at the base (-22.2 ± 2.5% vs. -20.5 ± 2.5%; p=0.029) and papillary muscle levels (-20.1 ± 1.5% vs. -18.3 ± 2.5%; p=0.007) were greater in SP. Peak LV twist was larger in SP (16.92 ± 7.55º vs. 12.34 ± 4.99 º; p=0.035) and longitudinal early diastolic strain rate was greater in SP (2.22 ± 0.40 s -1 vs. 2.02 ± 0.46 s -1; p=0.025). Conclusions: Highly-trained SP demonstrated augmented cardiac mechanics with greater circumferential strains, twist and faster diastolic lengthening in the absence of differences in wall thickness between SP and CON.
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology;
Article accepted for publication in European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
- Sport Research Groups 
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