Int J Sports Med 2012; 33(10): 795-801
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1304660
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Left Atrial Remodelling in Competitive Adolescent Soccer Players

F. D’Ascenzi
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
M. Cameli
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
M. Lisi
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
V. Zacà
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
B. Natali
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
A. Malandrino
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
S. Benincasa
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
,
S. Catanese
2  Medical Staff, Siena Football Club, Siena, Italy
,
A. Causarano
2  Medical Staff, Siena Football Club, Siena, Italy
,
S. Mondillo
1  Department of Cardiovascular Diseases, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History



accepted after revision 01 February 2012

Publication Date:
04 May 2012 (online)

Abstract

Left atrial (LA) enlargement and improved myocardial diastolic properties are a component of athlete’s heart. We performed a longitudinal study involving adolescent athletes to investigate the impact of training on LA remodelling and diastolic function. 21 competitive adolescent soccer players were enrolled and engaged in an 8-month training program. Echocardiographic analysis was performed at baseline, after 4 and 8 months. We assessed diastolic function by Doppler tissue imaging and we analyzed LA adaptations by 2D speckle-tracking echocardiography. After 4 months, LA mean volume index significantly increased (Δ=5.47±4.38 mL/m2, p≤0.0001). After 8 months, a further increase occurred (Δ=8.95±4.47 mL/m2, p≤0.0001). A higher E velocity (p=0.001; p=0.001), a greater E/A ratio (p=0.002; p=0.0009), a higher e’ peak (p= 0.005; p=0.001), and a greater e’/a’ ratio (p=0.01; p=0.0006) were observed at 4 and at 8 months, respectively. E/e’ ratio significantly decreased after 8 months (p≤0.005). Global peak atrial longitudinal strain and global peak atrial contraction strain values significantly decreased after 8 months (p=0.0004, p=0.01, respectively). An 8-month training program is associated with LA dimensional and functional training-specific adaptations in competitive adolescent soccer players. Myocardial diastolic properties can improve after training also in subjects already presenting with features of athlete’s heart.