Background The resting ECG can detect many cardiac abnormalities, but high levels of training to which athletes are subjected can trigger episodes of abnormal heart function, which should be evaluated by means of long-term records.
Objective The purpose of the study was to detect the frequency and nature of rhythmic alterations in volleyball players during the late recovery period following a match.
Design Retrospective study.
Setting and participants 12 volleyball players, volunteers, from 18–32 years old (mean: 24.5±1.2 years), members of a First National Division team. All were declared fit for volleyball and had no ECG abnormalities. The subjects underwent Holter ECG recording before and immediately after a match. The Holter used was NORAV DXP-1000 model.
Interventions Both the day before and after a match, the players did not train but did all work or academic activities normally. They were instructed to record their times of sleep and activity. Dependent variables: pertaining to heart rate, rhythm and ST space. Independent variable: physical exercise (match).
Results The average pre/post-match heart rates were 68.3±8.9 bpm when awake; 64.1±5.6 (p<0.01) and 62.8±7.7; 61.2±8.5 (p<0.01) when sleeping. Both before and after the match, 11 players (91%) had a mild or pronounced respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Isolated atrial or ventricular premature contractions were observed in 1 (8.3%), first-degree intermittent A-V blocks and second-degree A-V blocks with Wenckebach periods were observed in 1, high T-waves were found in 5 (41.6%), and high take-off of ST segments were found in 6 (50%).
Conclusions After the match, there are fewer pulsations recorded, there are more bradycardic rhythms and there are fewer arrhythmic events.