Dynamic exercise echocardiography of the left ventricle in physically trained children compared to untrained healthy children

Int J Cardiol. 1990 Oct;29(1):29-33. doi: 10.1016/0167-5273(90)90269-b.


To evaluate the effect of physical training on left ventricular function, we investigated 52 children, aged 7 to 14 years, who had trained for endurance sports over a period of at least 1 year. The children (24 boys and 28 girls) were investigated echocardiographically during supine exercise on a bicycle at increasing work loads of 6, 9, 12 and 15 kpm/min/kg body weight. The parameters of left ventricular function (specifically fractional shortening and the velocity of circumferential fiber shortening; both these parameters corrected for heart rate) were evaluated before, during and after the test. The values obtained were compared to those in untrained children investigated in a previous study. Fractional shortening in trained children rose from 37 +/- 5% to 54 +/- 5%, and in untrained children from 37 +/- 4% to 46 +/- 4%. The velocity of fiber shortening in trained children rose from 1.27 to 3.15 circ/sec while in untrained children it increased from 1.25 to 2.53 circ/sec. Left ventricular contraction, therefore was significantly greater in trained than in untrained children during exercise. While untrained children increased their cardiac output in the first minutes of exercise mainly by elevating their heart rate, trained children increased simultaneously the stroke volume. There were no significant differences between boys and girls, or between stages of maturity. Thus, physical training causes quick adaptations of left ventricular function to exercise in children of all ages.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Echocardiography / methods*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Stroke Volume
  • Ventricular Function, Left*