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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acvd.2012.10.002