Magnetic resonance imaging of athlete's heart: Myocardial mass, left ventricular function, and cross-sectional area of the coronary arteries

F. Zandrino, G. Molinari, A. Smeraldi, G. Odaglia, M. A. Masperone, F. Sardanelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To evaluate left ventricular myocardial mass and function as well as ostial coronary artery cross-sectional area in endurance athletes, an athlete group of 12 highly trained rowers and a control group of 12 sedentary healthy subjects underwent MR examination. An ECG-gated breath-hold cine gradient- echo sequence was used to calculate myocardial mass, end-diastolic and end- systolic volumes, stroke volume, and cardiac output, all related to body surface area, as well as ejection fraction. A 3D fat-saturated ECG- and respiratory-triggered navigator echo sequence was used to evaluate coronary arteries: left main (LM), left anterior descending (LAD), left circumflex (LC(x)), and right coronary artery (RCA). Cross-sectional area was calculated and divided for body surface area. Myocardial mass was found significantly larger in athlete group than in control group (p = 0.0078), the same being for end-diastolic volume (p = 0.0078), stroke volume (p = 0.0055), LM (p = 0.0066) and LAD (p = 0.0129). No significant difference was found for all the remaining parameters. Significant correlation with myocardial mass was found for LM (p<0.001) and LAD (p = 0.0340), not for LCx and RCA. Magnetic resonance imaging is a useful tool in evaluating the myocardial hypertrophy and function of athlete's heart. Magnetic resonance angiography is a valuable noninvasive method to visualize the correlated cross-sectional area increase of the left coronary artery system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-325
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Radiology
Volume10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000

Keywords

  • Heart, function
  • Heart, hypertrophy
  • Heart, MR
  • Heart, volume

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology

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