The Heart's Right Ventricle: The true Achilles' heel of the endurance athlete?

Posted on 22 September 2020
The Heart's Right Ventricle: The true Achilles' heel of the endurance athlete?
New evidence is emerging to show that the right ventricle is subjected to much greater stresses during exertion than the left ventricle. And, prolonged exercise is associated with temporary damage to the right ventricle. Yet current approaches towards the assessment of athletes with heart beat irregularities (arrhythmias) focus on the left ventricle and tend to examine the heart while it is resting.

As Prof André La Gerche remarks: "You do not test a racing car while it is sitting in the garage. Similarly, you can't assess an athlete's heart until you assess it under the stress of exercise". Methods for measuring right ventricular function are relatively simple and could be easily integrated into clinical routine. If you are an athlete with heart beat irregularities, you just might want to discuss these new findings with your own cardiologist.

A summary of these findings that were published in the European Heart Journal earlier this year can be found here.
Veterinary Specialist ServicesAuthor: Kara Gilbert
About: Kara Gilbert is a medical and health writer and the Founder and Principal of KMG Communications, a medical and health writing consultancy that produces high quality content for a variety of communication applications in medicine, health and sport health. Kara is also the creator of Heart Health for Athletes,where she publishes commentary on a range of sport health matters for recreational and professional athletes.
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