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Cardiac perfusion and function after high-intensity exercise training in late premenopausal and recent postmenopausal women: an MRI study

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We examined the influence of recent menopause and aerobic exercise training in women on myocardial perfusion, left ventricular (LV) dimension, and function. Two groups (n = 14 each) of healthy late premenopausal (50.2 ± 2.1 yr) and recent postmenopausal (54.2 ± 2.8 yr) women underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (cMRI) at baseline and after 12 wk of high-intensity aerobic training. Measurements included LV morphology, systolic function, and myocardial perfusion at rest and during an adenosine stress test. At baseline, resting myocardial perfusion was lower in the postmenopausal than the premenopausal group (77 ± 3 vs. 89 ± 3 ml·100 g-1·min-1; P = 0.01), while adenosine-induced myocardial perfusion was not different (P = 0.81). After exercise training, resting myocardial perfusion was lower in both groups (66 ± 2; P = 0.002 vs. 81 ± 3 ml·100 g-1·min-1; P = 0.03). The adenosine-induced change in myocardial perfusion was lower in the groups combined (by 402 ± 17 ml·100 g-1·min-1; P = 0.02), and the adenosine-induced increase in heart rate was 10 ± 2 beats/min lower (P < 0.0001) in both groups after training. Normalization of myocardial perfusion using an estimate of cardiac work eliminated the differences in perfusion between the premenopausal and postmenopausal groups and the effect of training. Left ventricle mass was higher in both groups (P = 0.03; P = 0.006), whereas LV end-diastolic (P = 0.02) and stroke (P = 0.045) volumes were higher in the postmenopausal group after training. Twelve weeks of exercise training increased left ventricle mass and lowered resting and adenosine-induced myocardial perfusion, an effect that was likely related to cardiac work. The current data also suggest that the early menopausal transition has limited impact on cardiac function and structure. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study provides for the first time estimates of myocardial perfusion in late premenopausal and recent postmenopausal women before and after a period of intense aerobic training. Resting myocardial perfusion was lower in postmenopausal than premenopausal women. Training lowered myocardial resting and stress perfusion in both groups, an effect that was likely influenced by the lower heart rate.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume126
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1272-1280
Number of pages9
ISSN0161-7567
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019

ID: 58901471