Athlete's heart syndrome and echocardiographic changes

Bosn J Basic Med Sci. 2008 May;8(2):116-20. doi: 10.17305/bjbms.2008.2963.


The study was designed with the main intent to assess and explain the differences between athlete's heart syndrome and the heart of healthy non-athletes, and to distinguish between physiological and pathological heart condition. Prolonged athletic training causes changes in heart that are termed "athlete's heart syndrome". Athlete's heart diagnosis and related issues are a great challenge due to complementary morphological, functional and electro-physiological changes that may indicate both physiological and pathological condition. The study included 150 subjects, of those 100 were active athletes and 50 were in control group. The study protocol included one clinical examination, one electrocardiogram and one echocardiograph for each subject. Average age was 20,51+/-8,51 in the athletes and 21,48+/-2,53 in control group. Significantly higher average left ventricle (LV) mass (401,23 g vs. 143,23 g) and LV mass index (196,05 g/m2 vs. 83,98 g/m2) was found in the athletes (p<0,05). The study showed increased mass and wall thickness with usual inner dimensions of athlete's heart. Systolic and diastolic function of athlete's heart is normal. Athlete's heart with these features is a healthy heart.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Electrocardiography / methods
  • Female
  • Heart Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Heart Diseases / pathology
  • Heart Ventricles / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myocardium / pathology*
  • Sports
  • Syndrome
  • Ultrasonography / methods
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Left / pathology