Left Ventricular, Left Atrial and Right Ventricular Strain Modifications after Maximal Exercise in Elite Ski-Mountaineering Athletes: A Feasibility Speckle Tracking Study.

Zimmermann P; Eckstein ML; Moser O; Schöffl I; Zimmermann L; Schöffl V;

International journal of environmental research and public health [Int J Environ Res Public Health] 2022 Oct 13; Vol. 19 (20).
Date of Electronic Publication: 2022 Oct 13.

Eleven world elite ski-mountaineering (Ski-Mo) athletes were evaluated for pronounced echocardiographic physiological remodeling as the primary aim of our feasibility speckle tracking study. In this context, sports-related cardiac remodeling was analyzed by performing two-dimensional echocardiography, including speckle tracking analysis of the left atrium (LA), right ventricle (RV) and left ventricular (LV) global longitudinal strain (LV-GLS) at rest and post-peak performance. The feasibility echocardiographic speckle tracking analysis was performed on eleven elite Ski-Mo athletes, which were obtained in 2022 during the annual medical examination. The obtained data of the professional Ski-Mo athletes (11 athletes, age: 18-26 years) were compared for different echocardiographic parameters at rest and post-exercise. Significant differences were found for LV-GLS mean ( p = 0.0036) and phasic LA conduit strain pattern at rest and post-exercise ( p = 0.0033). Furthermore, negative correlation between LV mass and LV-GLS ( p = 0.0195, r = -0.69) and LV mass Index and LV-GLS ( p = 0.0253, r = -0.66) at rest were elucidated.
This descriptive reporting provided, for the first time, a sport-specific dynamic remodeling of an entire elite national team of the Ski-Mo athlete’s left heart and elucidated differences in the dynamic deformation pattern of the left heart.