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Effects of sports activity in athletes with bicuspid aortic valve and mild aortic regurgitation
  1. Giorgio Galanti (laura-stefani{at}
  1. Sport medicine Center, Italy
    1. Laura Stefani (laura-stefani{at}
    1. Sport Medicine Center, Italy
      1. Loira Toncelli
      1. SWport Medicine cEnter, Italy
        1. Maria Concetta Robertina Vono
        1. Sport medicine Center, Italy
          1. Roberto Mercuri
          1. Sport Medicine Center, Italy
            1. Nicola Maffulli
            1. Keele University, United Kingdom


              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.

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