Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Assessment of the Structural and Functional Cardiac Adaptations to Soccer Training in School-Aged Male Children


Physical training is associated with changes in cardiac morphology called the “athlete’s heart”, which has not been sufficiently studied in children. The aim of the study was to analyze cardiac adaptation to exercise in pre-adolescent soccer players. Thirty-six soccer players (mean age 10.1 ± 1.4 years) and 24 non-athlete male controls (10.4 ± 1.7 years) underwent cardiac magnetic resonance. Measurements of myocardial mass, end-diastolic and end-systolic volume, stroke volume and ejection fraction for left and right ventricle (LV, RV) were performed. Additionally, left and right atrial (LA, RA) areas and volumes were analysed. Relative wall thickness (RWT) was calculated to describe the pattern of cardiac remodeling. Interventricular wall thickness and LV mass were significantly higher in athletes, but remained within the reference (6.9 ± 0.8 vs. 6.2 ± 0.9 mm/√m2p = 0.003 and 57.1 ± 7.4 vs. 50.0 ± 7.1 g/m2p = 0.0006, respectively) with no changes in LV size and function between groups. The RWT tended to be higher among athletes (p = 0.09) indicating LV concentric remodeling geometry. Soccer players had significantly larger RV size (p < 0.04) with similar function and mass. Also, the LA volume (p = 0.01), LA area (p = 0.03) and LA diameter (p = 0.009) were significantly greater in players than in controls. Cardiac adaptations in pre-adolescent soccer players are characterized by an increased LV mass without any changes in LV size and systolic function, which is typical of resistance training with tendency to concentric remodeling. This is accompanied by increase of LA and RV size. It should be taken into account during annual pre-participation evaluation.


Children Sport Training Athlete’s heart Cardiac magnetic resonance Adaptation 

Autor / Fonte:Marzena Barczuk-Fal?cka, ?ukasz A Ma?ek, Hubert Krysztofiak, Danuta Roik, Micha? Brzewski Pediatric Cardiology 2018 March 8