Publication: Assessment of myocardial changes in athletes with native T1 mapping and cardiac functional evaluation using 3 T MRI
Intensive physical exercise leads to increases in left ventricular muscle mass and wall thickness. Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging allows the assessment of functional and morphological changes in an athlete-s heart. In addition, a native T1 mapping technique has been suggested as a non-contrast method to detect myocardial fibrosis. The aim of this study was to show the correlation between athletes- cardiac modifications and myocardial fibrosis with a native T1 mapping technique. A total of 41 healthy non-athletic control subjects and 46 athletes underwent CMR imaging. After the functional and morphological assessments, native T1 mapping was performed in all subjects using 3.0 T magnetic resonance imaging. Most of the CMR findings were significantly higher in athletes who had a parts per thousand yen5 years of sports activity when compared with non-athletic controls and athletes who had < 5 years of sports activity. Significantly higher results were shown in native T1 values in athletes who had < 5 years of sports activity, but there were no significant differences in the left ventricular end-diastolic volume, left ventricular end-diastolic mass, or interventricular septal wall thickness between non-athletic controls and athletes who had < 5 years of sports activity. The native T1 mapping technique has the potential to discriminate myocardial fibrotic changes in athletes when compared to a normal myocardium. The T1 mapping method might be a feasible technique to evaluate athletes because it does not involve contrast, is non-invasive and allows for easy evaluation of myocardial remodeling.