Central and peripheral cardiovascular adaptations to exercise in endurance-trained children

Acta Physiol Scand. 2002 Jun;175(2):85-92. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-201X.2002.00975.x.


Stroke volume (SV) response to exercise depends on changes in cardiac filling, intrinsic myocardial contractility and left ventricular afterload. The aim of the present study was to identify whether these variables are influenced by endurance training in pre-pubertal children during a maximal cycle test. SV, cardiac output (Doppler echocardiography), left ventricular dimensions (time-movement echocardiography) as well as arterial pressure and systemic vascular resistances were assessed in 10 child cyclists (VO2max: 58.5 +/- 4.4 mL min-1 kg-1) and 13 untrained children (UTC) (VO2max: 45.9 +/- 6.7 mL min-1 kg-1). All variables were measured at the end of the resting period, during the final minute of each workload and during the last minute of the progressive maximal aerobic test. At rest and during exercise, stroke index was significantly higher in the child cyclists than in UTC. However, the SV patterns were strictly similar for both groups. Moreover, the patterns of diastolic and systolic left ventricular dimensions, and the pattern of systemic vascular resistance of the child cyclists mimicked those of the UTC. SV patterns, as well as their underlying mechanisms, were not altered by endurance training in children. This result implied that the higher maximal SV obtained in child cyclists depended on factors influencing resting SV, such as cardiac hypertrophy, augmented myocardium relaxation properties or expanded blood volume.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological*
  • Bicycling
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Weight
  • Cardiovascular Physiological Phenomena*
  • Child
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left