Cardiac dimensions and left ventricular function were investigated at rest with non-invasive methods in 14 professional road race cyclists and in 11 age-matched sedentary control subjects. The electrocardiographic findings were in agreement with previous studies in endurance athletes and the vectocardiographic data showed anterior displacement of the electrical forces. Echocardiographic dimensions at end-diastole showed higher values in the cyclists for left ventricular internal diameter, left ventricular posterior wall thickness, and interventricular septal thickness. Derived values for left ventricular volume and left ventricular mass were also much larger in the cyclists and there was excellent agreement between total heart volume measured with radiology and total measured by echocardiography. There was a significant correlation between maximal oxygen consumption and end-diastolic left ventricular diameter.
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