Myocardial response to a triathlon in male athletes evaluated by Doppler tissue imaging and biochemical parameters

T H Leetmaa, A Dam, D Glintborg, J D Markenvard

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The aim of this study was to examine cardiac dysfunction following ultra-endurance exercise in male athletes. Fourteen athletes (mean+/-SD, age 39+/-8 years) were evaluated before and after the European Championship in Triathlon 2003 using echocardiogram (ECG), cardiac markers [cardiac troponin T (cTnT) and pro-brain natriuretic peptide (pro-BNP)] and echocardiography. Conventional echocardiography techniques and new Doppler tissue imaging (DTI) modalities were applied before and immediately after the competition. Blood samples were drawn 1 week before, immediately after and 12-24 h post-competition. CTnT significantly increased immediately, but decreased to within normal limits 12-24 h post-competition. Pro-BNP was significantly increased immediately post-race (27+/-21 vs 7+/-2 pmol/L pre-race, P < or = 0.007), which 12-24 h later, decreased to 19+/-14 pmol/L (P = 0.07 vs pre-race). During echocardiography, no significant differences were found in regional or global systolic parameters. Early diastolic peak flow velocity (9+/-2, P = 0.04) and E/A ratio (2+/-1, P = 0.004) were increased pre-race and decreased significantly toward normal values. In one athlete, cTnT levels increased significantly and systolic velocities decreased, thus suggesting reversible cardiac fatigue. When using cardiac markers and echocardiographic findings, a triathlon was found to have no significant negative effects on left ventricular function or myocardial tissue in male athletes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)698-705
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 1. Dec 2008

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