Athlete's heart patterns in elite rugby players: Effects of training specificities

Citations of this article
Mendeley users who have this article in their library.


Background: Athlete's heart patterns have been widely described. However, to our knowledge, few studies have focused on professional rugby players, who train differently according to their field position. Aim: To describe electrocardiographic and echocardiographic patterns observed in elite rugby players according to their field position. Methods: One hundred and thirty-five professional rugby players at the end of the competitive season were included. Results: According to a modified Pelliccia's classification, 68.1% of electrocardiograms were normal or had minor abnormalities, 27.2% were mildly abnormal and 3.7% were distinctly abnormal. Heart rate was higher in scrum first-row players (P < 0.05). Absolute and indexed left ventricular end-diastolic internal diameters (LVIDd; absolute value 59.3 ± 4.7 mm) exceeded 65 mm and 32 mm/m2 in 13% and 1.5% of players, respectively. Indexed LVIDd values were higher in back players (P < 0.001). Left ventricular interventricular septum and posterior wall thicknesses (absolute values 9.4 ± 1.7 mm and 9.2 ± 1.6 mm, respectively) exceeded 13 mm in 3.7% of players. Concentric cardiac hypertrophy was noted in 3.7% of players. Except for one Wolff-Parkinson-White pattern, players with significant ECG or echocardiographic abnormalities showed no cardiovascular event or disease during follow-up. Conclusion: Thus, elite rugby players present similar heart patterns to elite athletes in other sports. Major electrocardiographic and echocardiographic abnormalities are quite rare. Eccentric cardiac remodelling is more frequent in back players.© 2011 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.




Chevalier, L., Kervio, G., Corneloup, L., Vincent, M. P., Baudot, C., Rebeyrol, J. L., … Carré, F. (2013). Athlete’s heart patterns in elite rugby players: Effects of training specificities. Archives of Cardiovascular Diseases, 106(2), 72–78.

Register to see more suggestions

Mendeley helps you to discover research relevant for your work.

Already have an account?

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free