athlete's heart

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A non-pathological enlargement of the heart resulting from physiological adaptation to training, especially endurance training. The heart enlarges as a result of an increase in the volume of the chamber of the left ventricle and, as revealed by magnetic resonance imaging, of the left ventricle. Athlete's heart is usually associated with bradycardia, but there is no evidence that the condition is detrimental to health. The changes associated with athlete's heart are a normal physiological adaptation to the stresses of training. However, occasionally these changes are confused with those associated with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and differentiation between the two conditions may require careful clinical examination.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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