Cardiovascular response to exercise in elite ice hockey players

Eduardo Bossone, Olga Vriz, Bruno Dino Bodini, Melvyn Rubenfire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: High-performance ice hockey requires unique strength and endurance, which are facilitated by training. Objectives: To investigate the cardiovascular response to training and competition at rest and during recumbent bicycle echocardiography Doppler exercise in 26 elite ice hockey players, and to compare the results with those of 14 healthy, active, young male student volunteers. Methods: Two-dimensional echocardiography Doppler was applied to determine cardiac chamber size and wall thickness, and to estimate rest and exercise tricuspid regurgitation peak velocity (TRV), stroke Volume (SV) and cardiac output. Results: The left atrium, interventricular septal thickness, and left ventricutar end-systolic and end-diastolic diameters and volumes were larger in athletes. During exercise, the systolic and diastolic blood pressure increments were similar in the athletes and the control subjects, but the increase in heart rate (HR) per stage was greater in the control subjects. TRV was higher in the athletes and increased at each step to 240 W, while the TRV in the control group began to decline at 160 W The cardiac output increased with each stage in both groups, but was determined by the increment of SV and HR in the athletes, and primarily by HR in the control subjects. Conclusions: Myocardial adaptation for elite ice hockey players is characterized by increased chamber size and wall thickness typical of combined endurance and sprint sports. The systemic blood pressure response to exercise is similar in athletes and nonathletes. The higher TRV at rest and at each level of exercise appears to be related to the higher SV, an expression of a physiological phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893-897
Number of pages5
JournalCanadian Journal of Cardiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Cardiovascular adaptation
  • Echocardiography
  • Elite athletes
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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