Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Sport Biomechanics and Injuries,, Faculty of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran,

2 Department of Sport Biomechanics and Injuries, Faculty of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Tarbiat Modares University

4 Department of Sports Physiology, Faculty of Physical Education & Sport Sciences, Kharazmi University, Tehran, Iran


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of chronic exercise on structure and function of carotid artery in elite female basketball and volleyball players as high-risk and low-risk groups (respectively) based on the prevalence of sudden death between different sports using a novel method. We recruited elite volleyball players (n=20), basketball players (n=20), and non-athlete females as control group (n = 20) with (mean age of 26±4 years, height of 174±3.5 cm, weight of 68±4 Kg and at least eight years of playing experience for the athlete group). Carotid artery diameter, wall thickness, tensile and shear stress, blood flow velocity, strain, and compliance were assessed using high-resolution ultrasound. The results showed that mean carotid artery diameter, intima-media thickness in systolic and diastolic stages, peak systole velocity, and maximum shear stress in basketball group were significantly higher than in control group, but no significant difference was observed between basketball and volleyball player groups and between volleyball and control groups. There were no significant difference in height, weight, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, minimum shear stress, carotid diameter in diastolic phase, and end diastole velocity between the three groups. It seems that the thickness change of the arterial wall in basketball group happens systemically in response to exercise and to control tensile stress. Conversely, in basketball group, localized effects are obvious with respect to the effect of exercise on arterial diameter in response to shear stress control.


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