Cardiac Biomarkers Following Marathon Running: Is Running Time a Factor for Biomarker Change?

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: Plasma N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and cardiac troponin T levels show a transient increase after marathon running. The aim of this study was to investigate whether running duration influences the patterns of changes in cardiac biomarkers. Methods: Twenty participants with fast and slow finishing times were included in the study. Blood samples were taken before the marathon race, immediately after, and 24 hours after the race. Samples were analyzed for NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin T concentration. Furthermore, a complete blood cell count was performed. Results: After the marathon race, the fast and slow runners showed similar changes of NT-proBNP and cardiac troponin T (ie, a transient increase). Curve estimation regression analysis showed a curvilinear relationship (quadratic model) between running times and NT-proBNP increments immediately after the race, with less of an increase in the very fast and the very slow runners (r2 = .359, P = .023). NT-proBNP increments immediately after the race were correlated to the decline 24 hours after the marathon (r = −.612, P = .004). Conclusions: This study indicates that NT-proBNP release immediately after marathon running varies in a curvilinear fashion with running time. It is speculated that low NT-proBNP release is associated with training adaptation in most elite runners and the relatively low cardiac stress in the slowest (but experienced) runners. The combination of less adaptation and relatively large cardiac wall and metabolic stress may explain the highest NT-proBNP values in runners with average running times. In addition, NT-proBNP decrements 24 hours after the race depend primarily on the values reached after the marathon and not on running time.

Traiperm and Burtscher are with the Dept of Sport Science, Medical Section, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria. Traiperm is also with the Dept of Sport Science, Khon Kaen University, Nong Khai, Thailand. Chaunchaiyakul is with the College of Sport Science and Technology, Mahidol University, Salaya, Thailand. Gatterer is with the Inst of Mountain Emergency Medicine, Eurac Research, Bolzano, Italy.

Gatterer (hannes.gatterer@eurac.edu) is corresponding author.
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