Document Detail

The feasibility and usefulness of contrast exercise echocardiography for the assessment of left ventricular function in master athletes.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15664550     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: The number of competitive master athletes (MA, over 40 years) has been rising. Since the incidence of coronary artery disease (CAD) is increasing in this population, cardiovascular pre-participation screening, including a maximum exercise test, is recommended. In this context the addition of contrast to echo could be useful because wall thickening and motion are better markers of myocardial function when the whole endocardial border (EB) is visible. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the feasibility and usefulness of rest and exercise contrast echo for the assessment of LV wall motion in competitive master athletes with suboptimal acoustic windows. METHODS: Forty consecutive MA underwent echo and contrast echo both at rest and during exercise. Contrast-enhanced images were achieved at rest and at peak exercise after administration of SonoVue (BR1), using apical 4 and 2-chamber views divided into 6 myocardial segments (MS). The EB resolution for each segment was graded as: 0=not visible, 1=barely visible, 2=well-delineated. RESULTS: In the baseline at-rest echo 17/40 (45%) patients were graded as score 0, 22/40 (55%) were graded as score 1 and only 1 athlete has reached score 2. In at-rest echo contrast 28/40 (70%) athletes have reached score 1 and 12/40 (30%) score 2. Nobody was graded as score 0. At the same time in the baseline peak-exercise echo 12/40 (30%) athletes were graded as score 0, 24/40 (60%) athletes reached score 1 and 4/40 (10%) score 2, while using contrast at peak-exercise echo 28/40 (70%) were grated as score 1 and 12/40 (30%) reached score 2. The differences about the grading of the score between the two groups with and without contrasts, at rest and at peak exercise, are statistically significant (p<0.001). Considering the whole of the MS analyzed in the majority of the athletic population studied, we can see that at-rest echo, 64/480 MS (13.3%) were graded as 0, 156/480 MS (32.5%) as 1 and 260/480 MS (54.2%) were graded 2, while in the peak-exercise 96/480 MS (20%) were graded as 0, 235/480 MS (48.9%) as 1 and 209/480 MS (43.5%) were graded 2. On the other hand, using contrast, in at-rest echo, 480/480 MS (100%) were graded as 2 while in the peak-exercise echo 460/480 MS (95.9%) were graded as 2 and 20/480 MS (4.1%) as 1. The percentage of the MS graded as 2 reach almost the whole number of the analyzed MS with a percentage increment in the at-rest and peak-exercise echo of 85% and 120%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the use of contrast echo improves the visibility of the EB in a way that the two groups of competitive athletes show at rest and after exercise a significant increment of the score 2 compatible with a better visibility of the EB. These results suggest that contrast echo, both at rest and during exercise, is a better method for EB analysis to understand the behaviour of the wall motion in subjects with suboptimal acoustic windows, and could be suitable for cardiovascular screening in master athletes.
Marta Rizzo; Maria Concetta Robertina Vono; Loira Toncelli; Patricia Peçagna; Paolo Manetti; Laura Stefani; Giorgio Galanti
Publication Detail:
Type:  Evaluation Studies; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  European journal of echocardiography : the journal of the Working Group on Echocardiography of the European Society of Cardiology     Volume:  6     ISSN:  1525-2167     ISO Abbreviation:  Eur J Echocardiogr     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-24     Completed Date:  2005-06-07     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  100890618     Medline TA:  Eur J Echocardiogr     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  24-30     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Medical and Surgical Critical Care, Laboratory of Non-Invasive Cardiology, Sports Medicine Centre, University of Florence, Viale Gian Battista Morgagni, 85, 50134, Florence, Italy.
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MeSH Terms
Echocardiography / methods*
Endocardium / ultrasonography
Exercise Test
Feasibility Studies
Heart Ventricles / ultrasonography
Image Enhancement*
Middle Aged
Phospholipids / diagnostic use
Sulfur Hexafluoride / diagnostic use
Ventricular Function, Left*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Phospholipids; 0/contrast agent BR1; 2551-62-4/Sulfur Hexafluoride

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