Gyimes Z, Pavlik G, Simor T. Morphological and functional differences in cardiac parameters between power and endurance athletes: a magnetic resonance imaging study. Acta Physiol Hung. 2004;91(1):49-57.
The present study compared morphological and functional parameters of the left ventricle by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in competitive athletes engaged in endurance and power activities and sedentary control subjects. Twenty male subjects, 7 endurance-trained athletes (ETA) (age 23.8+/-3.5 yr), 7 strength-trained athletes (STA) (age 22.8+/-4.0 yr), and 6 sedentary controls (age 24.1+/-2.2 yr) were studied by MRI. In the ETA group body size related left ventricular mass (rel.LVM) was significantly higher than that in the STA group (71.0+/-9.2 vs 57.4+/-15.7 g/m3). The difference between their size related left ventricular wall thickness (rel.LVWT) values (9.37+/-1.0 vs 8.37+/-1.8 mm/m) was near to the level of significance (p=0.057). Relative left ventricular internal diameter (rel.LVID) was significantly higher in the ETA group compared to the STA group (42.3+/-1.0 vs 40.1+/-2.5 mm/m, p<0.05). The muscular quotient (MQ=LVWT/LVID) of the ETA group was not significantly higher compared to the strength athletes. Relative left ventricular end-diastolic volume (LVEDV) was also higher in the ETA group than in the STA group (69.5+/-6.7 vs 59.9+/-8.2 ml/m3, p<0.05) and the controls (53.6+/-3.7, p<0.001). Significantly higher relative stroke volume (SV) was measured in the ETA group compared to the STA group and the controls (41.0+/-5.7; 32.6+/-6.9; 32.0+/-3.2 ml/m3). According to the present data, the strongest impact on LV cavity size and wall thickness is caused by long-term high intensity endurance training. Intense strength training does not necessarily induce wall thickening.