Cardiac drift during prolonged exercise with echocardiographic evidence of reduced diastolic function of the heart

E. A. Dawson*, R. Shave, K. George, G. Whyte, D. Ball, D. Gaze, P. Collinson

*Corresponding author for this work

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42 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined whether, in 16 male subjects, a continuous increase in heart rate (HR) during 4 h of ergometry cycling relates to cardiac fatigue or cardiomyocyte damage. Serum cardiac troponin T (cTnT) was determined and echocardiographic assessment was carried out prior to and after 2 h of exercise, within 15 min of completing exercise and after 24 h. Left ventricular contractile function (end-systolic blood pressure - Volume relationship [SBP/ESV]) and diastolic filling (ratio of early to late peak left ventricular filling velocities [E:A]) were calculated. During exercise HR was 132±5 beats min-1 after 2 h and increased to 141±5 beats min-1 (mean ± SD; P < 0.05), but there was no evidence of altered LV contractile function (SBP/ESV 39.0 ± 5.1 mmHg cm-1 to 36.5±5.2 mmHg cm-1 and SBP/ESV was not correlated to maximal oxygen uptake (r2=0.363). In contrast, E:A decreased (1.82±0.32 to 1.48±0.30; P < 0.05) and returned towards baseline after 24 h (1.78±0.28), and individual changes were correlated to maximal oxygen uptake (r2=0.61; P < 0.05). Low levels of cTnT were detected in two subjects after 4 h of exercise that had normalised by 24 h of recovery. During prolonged exercise cardiovascular drift occurred with echocardiographic signs of a reduced diastolic function of the heart, especially in those subjects with a high maximal oxygen uptake.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2005



  • Cardiac troponin T
  • Echocardiography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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