Journal of Clinical Medicine (May 2018)

Elevated LV Mass and LV Mass Index Sign on the Athlete’s ECG: Athletes’ Hearts are Prone to Ventricular Arrhythmia

  • Mücahid Yılmaz,
  • Hidayet Kayançiçek

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 6
p. 122


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Objectives: Intense exercise elevates all heart chambers’ dimensions, left ventricular mass (LV mass), and left ventricular mass index (LV mass index). The relationship between increased ventricular arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death with LV dilatation and elevated LV mass has been previously demonstrated. We investigated whether sports-related LV dilatation and elevated LV mass and LV mass index cause an increase in ventricular repolarization heterogeneity. Patients and Methods: This prospective observational study recruited 565 participants. There were 226 (female: 28) athletes and 339 (female: 45) healthy controls between 17 and 42 years of age. They were evaluated using 12-lead-electrocardiography and transthoracic echocardiography. Electrocardiograms were obtained at a rate of 50 mm/s and an amplitude of 10 mV, including at least 3 QRS complexes for each derivation. They were taken with 12 standard deviations. Transmural dispersion of repolarization indexes (TDR) (Tp-Te interval, Tp-Te/QT ratio and Tp-Te/QTc ratio, Tp-Te(d)) were measured from precordial derivations. Measurements weretakenwith a program which was generated with MATLAB codes. Results: Tp-Te interval, Tp-Te/QT ratio, Tp-Te/QTc ratio, Tp-Te(d), PW (posterior wall thickness), IVS (interventricular septal thickness), LVEDD (left ventricular end-diastolic diameter), LV mass (left ventricular mass), and LV mass index (left ventricular mass index) for the athlete group were significantly higher than for the control group. Correlation analyses revealed that TDR indexes significantly correlated with PW, IVS, LVEDD, LV mass, and LV mass index. Conclusion: LV mass and LV mass index increase in well-trained athletes, and this increase leads to an increase in TDR indexes. The increased frequency of ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac death may be explained with increasing ventricular repolarization heterogeneity in these individuals.