Background: Although exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy has been intensively investigated, its development and regression dynamics have not been comprehensively described. In the current study, we aimed to characterize the effects of regular exercise training and detraining on left ventricular (LV) morphology and function. Methods: Rats were divided into exercised (n = 12) and control (n = 12) groups. Exercised rats swam 200 min/day for 12 weeks. After completion of the training protocol, rats remained sedentary for 8 weeks (detraining period). Echocardiographic follow-up was performed regularly to obtain LV long- and short-axis recordings for speckle-tracking echocardiography analysis. Global longitudinal and circumferential strain and systolic strain rate were measured. LV pressure-volume analysis was performed using additional groups of rats to obtain haemodynamic data. Results: Echocardiographic examinations showed the development of LV hypertrophy in the exercised group. These differences disappeared during the detraining period. Strain and strain rate values were all increased after the training period, whereas supernormal values rapidly reversed to the control level after training cessation. Load-independent haemodynamic indices, e.g., preload recruitable stroke work, confirmed the exercise-induced systolic improvement and complete regression after detraining. Conclusions and translational aspect: Our results provide the first comprehensive data to describe the development and regression dynamics of morphological and functional aspects of physiological hypertrophy in detail. Speckle-tracking echocardiography has been proven to be feasible to follow-up changes induced by exercise training and detraining and might provide an early possibility to differentiate between physiological and pathological conditions.
- Circumferential strain
- Development of physiological hypertrophy
- Regression of physiological hypertrophy
- Speckle-tracking echocardiography
- athlete's heart
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine