PhD Scientific Days 2023

Budapest, 22-23 June 2023

Clinical Medicine II.

Study of the Tissue Characteristics of the Athlete's Heart Using Native Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Balla Dorottya1, Szabó Liliána Erzsébet1, Juhász Vencel1, Dohy Zsófia1, Hirschberg Kristóf1, Sydó Nóra1, Csulak Emese1, Kiss Orsolya1, Babity Máté1, Becker Dávid1, Merkely Béla1, Vágó Hajnalka1
1 Semmelweis University, Heart and Vascular Center, Cardiology, Budapest

Text of the abstract

Introduction: Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) native T1- and T2-mapping techniques enable the quantitative assessment of tissue characteristics without the administration of contrast material. However, in athletes, the relationship of these values with gender and training load is incompletely understood.
Aims: We aimed to investigate differences in T1- and T2-mapping values between a healthy group of athletes and a healthy, less active control group.
Methods: We enrolled healthy athletes (n=93, 61 males, 25±5 years, weekly training hours >10 hours) and less active control individuals (n=99, 46 males, 26±3 years, weekly training hours ≤6 hours) to undergo CMR examinations.
Results: Comparing the results of male and female athletes and age- and gender-matched control group, we observed marked MR signs of sport adaptation: increased end-diastolic volume index (LVEDVi: 116±14 vs 97±12 p<0.001; 103±7 vs 86±11 p<0.001) and muscle mass index (LVMi: 65±12 vs 53±9 p<0.001; 51±7 vs 39±5 p<0.001). The T1 mapping values of athletes were lower compared to the control group (946±22 vs 960±20 p<0.001; 970±19 vs 985±17 p=0.0015). When comparing male and female athlete groups, T1- and T2- mapping values also showed significant differences (970±19 vs 946±22 p<0.001; 45±2 vs 44±2 p<0.001). In a multivariate regression model adjusted for age, sex, heart rate and LVMi, training load was associated with T1-mapping values (F-ratio:19.58, p<0.001).
Conclusion: Our study demonstrated a marked difference in both T1- and T2-mapping parameters between females and males, supporting the use of a sex-matched control group. In our study, we also found an association between high training hours and lower T1 values independent of age, sex, heart rate and myocardial mass, suggesting myocardial remodeling is independent of hypertrophy.
Funding: Supported by TKP2021-NKTA-46(NKFIH); K135076 OTKA(NKFIH)