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The right heart of the elite senior rugby football league athlete

Forsythe, L, Somauroo, J, George, KP, Papadakis, M, Brown, B, Qasem, M and Oxborough, D (2019) The right heart of the elite senior rugby football league athlete. Echocardiography: a journal of cardopvascular ultrasound and allied techniques, 36 (5). pp. 888-896. ISSN 0742-2822

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Background: Right heart enlargement is common in the athletes’ heart phenotype however few data exist regarding interpretation of normal athletic adaptation during Pre-participation Cardiac Screening (PCS) of Rugby Football League (RFL) athletes. Echocardiography is utilised during PCS and thus the primary aim of this study was to establish the normal right ventricular (RV) phenotype in elite RFL athletes using standard 2D echocardiography and myocardial mechanics. The secondary aim was to describe right atrial (RA) structure and function using 2D echocardiography.

Methods: 139 male RFL athletes underwent echocardiographic evaluation of the right heart including RV strain (ɛ) and strain rate (SR) imaging using speckle tracking echocardiography (STE). Non-athletic males were used for comparison and allometric scaling was applied for conventional echocardiographic parameters.

Results: Scaled RV dimensions were larger in athletes (P<0.05) with the exception of the mid cavity. No differences (P>0.05) in RV fractional area change (FAC) and RV longitudinal ɛ were observed between groups. Tissue Doppler imaging (TDI) indexed parameters and global strain rate (SR) were lower (P<0.05) in athletes with HR and weight found to have co-variance with SR. The RA was larger in athletes (P<0.001) with no functional difference (P>0.05) observed by volume assessment.

Conclusions: Reduction in SR and indexed TDI are partly associated with lower HR and increased body mass and are likely to represent normal physiological adaptation in RFL athletes. RA enlargement appears proportional to RV enlargement. These data may aid interpretation of normal athletic adaptation during PCS of RFL athletes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Forsythe, L, Somauroo, J, George, K, et al. The right heart of the elite senior rugby football league athlete. Echocardiography. 2019; 36: 888– 896, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/echo.14330. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1102 Cardiorespiratory Medicine and Haematology
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC1200 Sports Medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Wiley
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2019 10:16
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 09:12
DOI or ID number: 10.1111/echo.14330
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/10998
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