Digital Public Defence: Anders Wold Bjerring Anders Wold Bjerring at Institute of Clinical Medicine will be defending the thesis “The early development of the Athlete's heart” for the degree of PhD (Philosophiae Doctor).

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Photo: Piritta Nyberg, OUS

The public defence will be held as a video conference over Zoom.

The defence will follow regular procedure as far as possible, hence it will be open to the public and the audience can ask ex auditorio questions when invited to do so.

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Due to copyright reasons, an electronic copy of the thesis must be ordered from the faculty. In order for the faculty to have time to process the order, it must be received by the faculty no later than 2 days prior to the public defence. Orders received later than 2 days before the defence will not be processed. Inquiries regarding the thesis after the public defence must be addressed to the candidate.


Digital Trial Lecture – time and place

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Adjudication committee

  • First opponent: Senior Consultant, PhD, Stefano Caselli, Klinik Im Park - HerzGefässZentrum Zürich, Switzerland
  • Second opponent: Senior Consultant, PhD, Erik Ekker Solberg, Diakonhjemmet Hospital
  • Third member and chair of the evaluation committee: Associate Professor Kirsten Krogh-Sørensen, University of Oslo

Chair of the Defence

Associate Professor Lars Fjellbirkeland, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo

Principal Supervisor

Consultant Cardiologist, PhD, Sebastian Imre Sarvari, Oslo University Hospital


The athlete’s heart is a term used to describe the changes in morphology and function seen in the hearts of athletes. While these changes can be substantial, our knowledge of the early development is limited. This is of particular importance as the Athlete’s heart can mimic pathological conditions and in susceptible individuals, intense endurance exercise can be detrimental to cardiac health.

In his thesis «The early developement of the Athlete’s Heart» Anders Wold Bjerring has followed a cohort of promising young cross-country skiers from age 12 to age 18 and described the changes in morphology and function using traditional and novel echocardiographic methods. Participants also underwent cardiopulmonary exercise tests and rigorous assessment of exercise regimes.

At age 12, the cross-country skiers already had both greater wall thickness and greater chamber volumes than controls. These changes continued throughout adolescence. At age 18, the cohort contained some of the most promising young cross-country skiers in Norway and most had undergone substantial cardiac changes.

Surprisingly, cardiac remodelling was not uniform in nature, but dynamic with distinct phases of concentric and eccentric remodelling. This was not predicted by the prevailing hypothesis but provides new insight into the development of the athlete’s heart

Additional information

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Published Jan. 15, 2021 10:48 AM - Last modified Feb. 1, 2021 10:25 AM