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Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
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Koller A. 1, Mair J. 2, Schobersberger W. 3, Wohlfarter Th. 4, Haids Ch. 5, Mayr M. 2, Villiger B. 6, Frey W. 6, Puschendorf B. 2
1 Department of Sports Medicine, University of Innsbruck, Austria;
2 Department of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Innsbruck, Austria;
3 Clinic for Anaesthesia and General Intensive Care Medicine, University of Innsbruck, Austria;
4 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Innsbruck, Austria;
5 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Innsbruck, Austria;
6 Thurgauisch-Schaffhausische, Höhenklinik Davos, Switzerland
Background. This study evaluates creatine kinase, myosin heavy chain, and cardiac troponin blood levels following three types of exercise: 1) short-distance uphill or downhill running; 2) alpine ultramarathon; and 3) alpine long-distance cycling.
Methods. Experimental design: Comparative field study; follow-up up to 10 days. Setting: Department of Sports Medicine. All biochemical markers were analysed at the Department of Medical Chemistry and Biochemistry. Patients or participants: Subjects included healthy, trained males (N=53). All subjects were nonsmokers and free from medication prior to and during the study. Each volunteer was an experienced runner or cyclist, who had at least once successfully finished the Swiss Alpine Marathon of Davos or the Ötztal-Radmarathon before. Interventions: Running or cycling. Measures: Plasma concentrations of creatine kinase, myosin heavy chain fragments and cardiac troponins were measured to diagnose skeletal and cardiac muscle damage, respectively.
Results. Skeletal muscle protein release is markedly different between uphill and downhill running, with very little evidence for muscle damage in the uphill runners. There is considerable muscle protein leakage in the ultramarathoners (67 km distance; 30 km downhill running). In contrast, only modest amounts of skeletal muscle damage are found after alpine long- distance cycling (230 km distance).
Conclusions. This study proves that there is slow-twitch skeletal muscle fiber damage after prolonged strenuous endurance exercise and short-distance downhill running. Exhaustive endurance exercise involving downhill running and short-distance downhill running lead to more pronounced injury than strenuous endurance exercise involving concentric actions. From our results there is no reason for suggesting that prolonged intense exercise may induce myocardial injury in symptomless athletes without cardiac deseases.