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Impact of specific training and competition on myocardial structure and function in different age ranges of male handball players.

By Brahim Agrebi, Vladimir Tkatchuk, Nawel Hlila, Emna Mouelhi and Ali Belhani


Handball activity involves cardiac changes and demands a mixture of both eccentric and concentric remodeling within the heart. This study seeks to explore heart performance and cardiac remodeling likely to define cardiac parameters which influence specific performance in male handball players across different age ranges. Forty three players, with a regular training and competitive background in handball separated into three groups aged on average 11.78 ± 0.41 for youth players aka "schools", "elite juniors" 15.99 ± 0.81 and "elite adults" 24.46 ± 2.63 years, underwent echocardiography and ECG examinations. Incremental ergocycle and specific field (SFT) tests have also been conducted. With age and regular training and competition, myocardial remodeling in different age ranges exhibit significant differences in dilatation's parameters between "schools" and "juniors" players, such as the end-diastolic diameter (LVEDD) and the end-systolic diameter of the left ventricle (LVESD), the root of aorta (Ao) and left atrial (LA), while significant increase is observed between "juniors" and "adults" players in the interventricular septum (IVS), the posterior wall thicknesses (PWT) and LV mass index. ECG changes are also noted but NS differences were observed in studied parameters. For incremental maximal test, players demonstrate a significant increase in duration and total work between "schools" and "juniors" and, in total work only, between "juniors" and "seniors". The SFT shows improvement in performance which ranged between 26.17 ± 1.83 sec to 31.23 ± 2.34 sec respectively from "seniors" to "schools". The cross-sectional approach used to compare groups with prior hypothesis that there would be differences in exercise performance and cardiac parameters depending on duration of prior handball practice, leads to point out the early cardiac remodeling within the heart as adaptive change. Prevalence of cardiac chamber dilation with less hypertrophy remodeling was found from "schools" to "juniors" while a prevalence of cardiac hypertrophy with less pronounced chamber dilation remodeling was noted later

Topics: Medicine, R, Science, Q
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
DOI identifier: 10.1371/journal.pone.0143609
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