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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2001 September;41(3):399-402

Copyright © 2002 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Occult gastrointestinal bleeding in rugby player

Babić Z., Papa B. *, Sikirika-Bošnjakovič, M. **, Prkačin I. *, Mišigoj-Duraković M. ***, Katičić M. *

From the University Clinic for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolic Diseases Vuk Vhrovac * Department of Internal Medicine ** Department of Clinical Chemistry Merkur University Clinic *** Department of Kinesiological Anthropology Faculty of Physical Education, Zagreb, Croatia


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Background. Local ische­mia and mechan­i­cal trau­ma to hol­low abdom­i­nal ­organs are quot­ed as a ­cause of gas­troin­tes­ti­nal (GI) bleed­ing dur­ing and ­after ­long dis­tance run­ning. There are no ­data on ath­letes ­from rug­by and oth­er con­tact ­sports ­where mechan­i­cal trau­ma of the abdo­men is fre­quent.
Methods. Occult bleed­ing in the ­stool of Croatian nation­al rug­by ­team ­players has ­been inves­ti­gat­ed dur­ing and ­after qual­ifi­ca­tion ­match ­with Italy for the World Cup 1999 on June 6th 1998 in Makarska, Croatia. One ­player ­with pos­i­tive ­test was fol­lowed and exam­ined in ­detail ­after the ­game.
Results. Among 11 Croatian ­players ­authors dis­cov­ered one ­with a his­to­ry of GI symp­toms and one ­with con­ver­sion of neg­a­tive to pos­i­tive ­test for ­occult bleed­ing in ­stool ­after the ­match. The lat­ter ­player had no GI symp­toms or dis­eas­es, ­took no med­i­ca­tions, ­played ­only 20 min­utes in the ­match on for­ward posi­tion. Conversion has ­been ­found in the sec­ond ­stool sam­ple ­after ­game (24 to 48 ­hours ­after ­game). The ath­lete was fol­lowed for 18 ­months. Persistent low val­ues of hemo­glo­bin, hem­a­toc­rit and ser­um ­iron ­were ­revealed, as ­well as ­expressed hem­or­rhoids with­out ­signs of hae­mor­rhage or inflam­ma­tion.
Conclusions. Lower inci­dence of GI bleed­ing ­among rug­by ­players ­than ­among ­long dis­tance run­ners min­i­mize the impor­tance of mechan­i­cal abdom­i­nal trau­ma in the eti­ol­o­gy of GI bleed­ing dur­ing ­sports activ­ity. Hemorrhoids are not quot­ed as a ­cause of GI bleed­ing ­after ­sport activ­ity ­among ath­letes.

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