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Postexercise Changes in Left Ventricular Function: The Evidence So Far


Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: August 2008 - Volume 40 - Issue 8 - p 1393-1399
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e318172cf36
CLINICAL SCIENCES: Symposium: Exercise and the Heart

Whether prolonged exercise results in a transient depression in left ventricular (LV) function has been the focus of numerous studies since the 1960s. This review attempts to summarize the findings of this growing body of research. Understanding in this area has followed the advances in imaging techniques and specifically in echocardiographic technology. As such, the review focuses on evidence from the traditional echocardiographic technology (two-dimensional and Doppler measures), the more advanced technique of tissue Doppler imaging (TDI), and finally the assessment of myocardial strain and strain rate. Although many of the studies have adopted a similar cross-sectional pre- to postexercise design, there are often significant differences in terms of subject characteristics, exercise duration, and exercise modality. Accordingly, we draw together the common findings from this growing body of research in an attempt to reach a consensus regarding the influence of prolonged exercise on LV function.

1Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, Brunel University, London, UNITED KINGDOM, 2Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool, UNITED KINGDOM

Address for correspondence: Dr. Rob Shave, Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UB8 3PH, United Kingdom; E-mail:

Submitted for publication December 2007.

Accepted for publication March 2008.

©2008The American College of Sports Medicine