Right ventricular structure and function in highly-trained pre-pubertal soccer players

Vish Unnithan, Keith George, Thomas Rowland, David Oxborough

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Little evidence exists with regard to right ventricular (RV) remodeling that occurs with high-intensity, intermittent training in pre-pubertal soccer players.
PURPOSE: The aim of the study was to evaluate resting RV structure and function in a group of highly-trained, pre-pubertal soccer players.
METHODS: Fifteen, highly-trained (training: 4 ± 2 years), male soccer players (SP) from an English Premier League soccer club (age:11.4 ± 0.2 years) volunteered for the study. Fifteen recreationally active boys (CON), of similar age (age: 11.7 ± 0.2 years) were also recruited. Parasternal long and short axis views were used to determine RV outflow tract dimensions (RVOTplax, RVOT1 and RVOT2). An apical four chamber view obtained further dimensional and area measurements (RVD1, RVD2, RVD3, RVD area). All dimensional data was allometrically scaled to body surface area. RV fractional area change (RVFAC) was derived from 2D echocardiography and myocardial speckle tracking was used to assess global, longitudinal strain (ε) and ε rate. Inter-group comparisons for RV temporal strain were also conducted.
RESULTS:In addition to the structural remodeling, the temporal analyses demonstrated that the SP had significantly (p<0.05) lower RV ε compared to CON during diastasis (55-75% diastole). An exemplar value in this range was at 65% diastole (SP: -22.3 ± 4.1 vs CON: -25.1 ± 4.3%, p=0.006).
CONCLUSIONS: There is some evidence of RV structural remodeling in pre-pubertal SP.The lower temporal strain data during diastasis in the SP suggest superior relaxation characteristics in the players compared to CON. These changes are likely mediated either through training or genetic pre-disposition.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)282
Number of pages283
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number5S
Publication statusPublished - May 2015
Externally publishedYes


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