Objective: To evaluate the impact of regular training on left ventricle morphology in a group of Bicuspid aortic valve ( BAV ) athletes, considering BAV as a common congenital cardiac condition which is normally compatible with sports activity in the presence of mild aortic regurgitation.
Design: A group of competitive athletes with BAV was followed with a yearly standard echocardiographic examination for five years .
Setting: Sport Medicine Centre, University of Florence, Pre-Partecipation Protocol Study.
Participants: A group of 88 consecutive athletes diagnosed with BAV was followed from January to December 1999 and 30 of these completed a 5-year follow-up. They were compared with a group of 56 athletes with a normal tricuspid valve (TAV).
Results: BAV athletes showed significant progressive increase in left ventricular dimensions and aortic diameters at four levels .The values were within the range of the general and non-athletic BAV populations. In TAV athletes, the aortic and left ventricle dimensions did not increase significantly and remained within physiological range.
Conclusions: Left ventricular measurements in competitive BAV athletes maintain the normal range; there is however a significant progressive increase in the BAV group as compared with the TAV one. Our results are in agreement with data obtained in previous studies on the non-athletic BAV population . Sports activity does not have an additional effect on cardiac morphology in athletes with asymptomatic BAV associated with mild regurgitation, for at least five years.