Purpose: Transient cardiac ventricular dysfunction or sudden cardiac deaths have been reported for male athletes participating in marathon racing. Less is known about the myocardial response in females. We examined natriuretic peptides and cardiac troponins in female athletes after a marathon.
Methods: At the 31st real,- Berlin Marathon plasma levels of NT-pro-BNP, BNP, cTnI and cTnT were measured in 15 women (age 35+/-6 years; finishing times between 3:22 h and 5:21 h) at four different time points (before, immediately after, day one and day three).
Results: An increase in [NT-pro-BNP] was observed immediately after the marathon (median [NT-pro-BNP] before: 39.6 pg ml(-1), after: 138.6 pg ml(-1), p=0.003) with a further increase on day one. [BNP] did not increase immediately after the marathon but increased on day one (median [BNP] before: 15 pg ml(-1), day one: 27.35 pg ml(-1), p=0.006). On day three, [NT-pro-BNP] and [BNP] returned to initial values. [cTnI] was under the detection limit prior to the marathon in all runners. [cTnT] was under the detection limit before the marathon except in one runner who presented a concentration of 0.03 ng ml(-1). Cardiac troponins (median [cTnl] after: 0.098 ng ml(-1), p=0.028; median [cTnT] after: 0.032 ng ml(-1), p=0.012) increased immediately after the marathon and returned to initial values on day one [cTnT] and three [cTnI].
Discussion: Parameters representing cardiac stress increased in females after a marathon. Different kinetics of natriuretic peptides BNP and NT-pro-BNP post-marathon could be due to their different half-lives and dependence on renal function. The increase of cTnI and cTnT may result from minor myocardial lesions.