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Correlation between ECG abnormalities and cardiac parameters in highly trained asymptomatic male endurance athletes: evaluation using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22723054     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Intensive endurance training can induce abnormal ECG patterns at rest. These alterations are differentiated into minor, mildly or distinctly abnormal ECG patterns. Echocardiographic data imply a correlation between the extent of these alterations and cardiac parameters like cardiac volume or wall thickness. In comparison to echocardiography, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is characterized by high reproducibility and accuracy. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between ECG alterations and cardiac parameters in highly trained asymptomatic male endurance athletes as assessed using cardiac MRI. Forty-five asymptomatic male endurance athletes (mean age 40 ± 8.9 years., range 19-59 years., 13 ± 5 h of training per week) underwent a cardiac MRI examination in addition to a resting ECG. Based on the ECG patterns at rest, the athletes were divided into groups with normal or minor (group 1) and mild or distinct (group 2) alterations. Steady-state free-precession cine MRI was used to calculate left and right ventricular end-diastolic volume, end-systolic volume, stroke volume, ejection fraction, and myocardial mass (MM). Late enhancement imaging was used to exclude structural alterations or myocardial scarring. Athletes in group 1 and 2 did not differ significantly in terms of age, height, body weight, body mass index or hours of training per week. Athletes with mildly or distinctly abnormal ECG patterns showed a significantly higher MM than athletes with minor ECG alterations at rest or normal resting ECG values (156.4 ± 18.4 g vs. 140.5 ± 20.0 g; p = 0.0103). The differences persisted when the values were corrected for body surface area (80.0 ± 7.4 g/m² vs. 73.4 ± 8.3 g; p = 0.0093). All other assessed cardiac parameters did not differ between the two groups. Pathological myocardial enhancement was detected only in one patient with a minor abnormal ECG. Male asymptomatic endurance athletes with mildly or distinctly abnormal ECG patterns at rest are characterized by a higher myocardial mass than comparable athletes with minor alterations or normal ECG at rest. Thus, the extent of ECG-abnormalities seems to be mainly the result of an increase in myocardial mass. Additionally, the absence of mild or distinct ECG alterations does not exclude the presence of pathological late gadolinium enhancement.
Gunnar Erz; Stefanie Mangold; Erik Franzen; Claus D Claussen; Andreas M Niess; Christof Burgstahler; Ulrich Kramer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-22
Journal Detail:
Title:  The international journal of cardiovascular imaging     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1875-8312     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-22     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100969716     Medline TA:  Int J Cardiovasc Imaging     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Department of Internal Medicine V, Sports Medicine, University of Tuebingen, Hoppe-Seyler-Strasse 6, 72076, Tuebingen, Germany.
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