Background: Equivocal studies exist on the potential of cardiac damage following prolonged endurance exercise.
Aims: The aim of the study was to examine humoral markers of cardiac damage in female athletes during a 2-day mountain endurance race.
Methods: Venous blood samples were drawn from seven female competitors prior to, and immediately following day-1 and day-2 of the event. The serum was analysed for total creatine kinase (CK), creatine kinase isoenzyme MB (CKMB), and cardiac troponin T (cTnT).
Results: Elevations in CK and CKMB were apparent following day-1 of the event (mean +/- SD; CK 84.1 +/- 54.6 mg/L vs. 387 +/- 276.7 mg/L, CKMB 2 +/- 1.7 mg/L vs. 5.9 +/- 1.7 mg/L) and subsequently rose further following race completion (CK 743 +/- 500 mg/L, CKMB 11.9 +/- 4.9 mg/L). Elevations in cTnT were noted in three competitors following day-1 cTNT (range 0.013-0.044 mg/L) and remained elevated in two competitors following day-2 (range 0.014-0.017 mg/L).
Conclusions: The elevations in cTnT likely represent release from the cytosolic fraction. The mechanism responsible for such release is yet to be elucidated.