Several studies suggest gender differences in ventricular dimensions in athletes. Few studies have, however, made comparisons of data indexed for lean body mass (LBM) using allometry. Ninety Caucasian college athletes (mixed sports) who were matched for age, ethnicity, and sport total cardiovascular demands underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry scan for quantification of LBM. Athletes underwent comprehensive assessment of left and right ventricular and atrial structure and function using 2-dimensional echocardiography and deformation imaging using the TomTec analysis system. The mean age of the study population was 18.9 ± 1.9 years. Female athletes (n = 45) had a greater fat free percentage (19.4 ± 3.7%) compared to male athletes (11.5 ± 3.7%). When scaled to body surface area, male had on average 19 ± 3% (p <0.001) greater left ventricular (LV) mass; in contrast, when scaled to LBM, there was no significant difference in indexed LV mass -1.4 ± 3.0% (p = 0.63). Similarly, when allometrically scaled to LBM, there was no significant gender-based difference in LV or left atrial volumes. Although female athletes had mildly higher LV ejection fraction and LV global longitudinal strain in absolute value, systolic strain rate and allometrically indexed stroke volume were not different between genders (1.5 ± 3.6% [p = 0.63] and 0.0 ± 3.7% [p = 0.93], respectively). There were no differences in any of the functional atrial indexes including strain or strain rate parameters. In conclusion, gender-related differences in ventricular dimensions or function (stroke volume) appear less marked, if not absent, when indexing using LBM allometrically.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.amjcard.2015.08.026
View details for PubMedID 26456207