Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Effects of physical training on the heart

28.07.2008
Just like any other muscle, the structure of the heart can be changed through exercise.

However, this adaptation process takes longer than it takes the muscle to revert to its original conditions. Researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have studied this process in well trained hearts during their investigations to identify pathologies.

Certainly everyone has at some point realized that the efforts at the gym result in increased muscle tone, even if this is not easy to maintain. The same applies to the heart; after enduring intense physical exercise some of its characteristics change. Thanks to modern imaging technology, in particular echocardiography, the study of such characteristics has greatly improved.

In sports medicine, it is very important to know how the heart adapts and regresses to its original state in athletes who train intensively. The information of the regression of the heart to a normal status when the training stimulus is removed is used by sports cardiologists to delimit the physiologic adaptation of the pathology.

In general, all the studies carried out with echocardiography for sports people with high levels of heart adaptation (rowers, cyclists, long distance runners…) have proven that the effects of heart training are increases in the size of the cavities (mainly the left ventricle) and thickness of the myocardium. Nonetheless, the regression of echocardiographic measurements caused by the decrease in training intensity has so far shown contradictory results.

Correctly interpreting the echocardiographic images and understanding the regression of the heart to its initial status is crucial, as there are heart diseases that resemble the natural adaptation caused by training. For this reason, since the initial study with sports athletes, there have been numerous others with the direct or indirect objective of determining the differences between a healthy heart and an unhealthy one.

Researchers from the Laboratorio de Fisiología del Esfuerzo of the Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y del Deporte of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, in collaboration with British and Italian scientists, have studied the reasons for the inconclusive results, that up to now have resulted from the study of the adaptation and regression caused by training. The main conclusion is that regression is a relevant process when attempting to distinguish the physiological phenomenon that the training represents from the effects of heart diseases.

In the case of a healthy trained heart, it reverts to it's original measurements once the stimulus disappears, as opposed to the case of an ill heart (“Hypertrophy” or “Dilatation of the heart”) that might exhibit similar alterations, but maintains or aggravates these produced changes. When an exaggerated hypertrophy is detected in an examination by sports cardiology services, the treatment to be followed is precisely to change the training regime.

In order to understand the technical limitations of echocardiography in determining the small variations that could be produced when the cavities size and the myocardium thickness are measured, it is convenient to look at some pictures.

Figure one shows an echocardiographic image, to the left in one dimension and to the right in two dimensions. The "area” to be measured is registered in two dimensions, but the measurements are taken in one dimension only. In figure two, a freehand representation of the image shown in figure one is represented. The average variation of thickness demonstrated by the different studies that were analysed range from 1 to 5 mm, which gives an idea of the rigour necessary to evaluate echocardiographies.

Ciencia y Sociedad | alfa
Further information:
http://www.upm.es
http://www.revespcardiol.org
http://www.escardio.org/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Millions through license revenues
27.04.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht New High-Performance Center Translational Medical Engineering
26.04.2017 | Fraunhofer ITEM

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Fighting drug resistant tuberculosis – InfectoGnostics meets MYCO-NET² partners in Peru

28.04.2017 | Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Wireless power can drive tiny electronic devices in the GI tract

28.04.2017 | Medical Engineering

Ice cave in Transylvania yields window into region's past

28.04.2017 | Earth Sciences

Nose2Brain – Better Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

28.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>