Ljubica Papić, Boris Ristanović, Igor Ranisavljev, Marija Macura, Dejana Popović, Stanimir Stojiljković

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Many research papers show that the most intense cardiac remodelling can be seen in endurance athletes, but no studies have examined right heart remodelling in triathletes. The aim of the study is to examine the morphological and functional characteristics of the right heart in elite Serbian triathletes. To assess the morpho-functional characteristics of the right heart, cardiac ultrasounds were performed following current recommendations, using a Philips IE33 device and a 5.2-MHz probe. The right ventricular diameter (RVEDD) was measured from the parasternal cross-section, and the right atrial volume (RAvol) and the right ventricular wall thickness (RVWT) were measured from the four-cavity cross-section. The M-mode method was used to measure the amplitude of the movement of the right ventricular tricuspid annulus (TAPSE). The sample consisted of two groups of men: experimental – elite triathlete seniors from Serbia (n=17; age: 35.88±11.27), and control – healthy untrained adults (n=20; age: 21.35±2.08). RVEDD, RAvol, and RVWT were significantly higher in the experimental group compared to the control group (p<0.01), but no significant difference was observed in TAPSE (p=0.653). Also, RVEDD and RAvol in the experimental group showed values higher than the reference values for the general population, while RVWT and TAPSE were within reference values. The obtained results indicate that there are signs of right heart remodeling in triathletes. Considering the growing number of persons involved in triathlon, it is necessary to draw the attention of all coaches and athletes to the importance of regularly monitoring the triathletes’ hearts.


triathlon, endurance, training, cardiac remodeling, adaptation.

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