Mean platelet volume (MPV) predicts middle distance running performance

Giuseppe Lippi, Gian Luca Salvagno, Elisa Danese, Spyros Skafidas, Cantor Tarperi, Gian Cesare Guidi, Federico Schena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Running economy and performance in middle distance running depend on several physiological factors, which include anthropometric variables, functional characteristics, training volume and intensity. Since little information is available about hematological predictors of middle distance running time, we investigated whether some hematological parameters may be associated with middle distance running performance in a large sample of recreational runners.

Methods: The study population consisted in 43 amateur runners (15 females, 28 males; median age 47 years), who successfully concluded a 21.1 km half-marathon at 75-85% of their maximal aerobic power (VO2max). Whole blood was collected 10 min before the run started and immediately thereafter, and hematological testing was completed within 2 hours after sample collection.

Results:The values of lymphocytes and eosinophils exhibited a significant decrease compared to pre-run values, whereas those of mean corpuscular volume (MCV), platelets, mean platelet volume (MPV), white blood cells (WBCs), neutrophils and monocytes were significantly increased after the run. In univariate analysis, significant associations with running time were found for pre-run values of hematocrit, hemoglobin, mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH), red blood cell distribution width (RDW), MPV, reticulocyte hemoglobin concentration (RetCHR), and post-run values of MCH, RDW, MPV, monocytes and RetCHR. In multivariate analysis, in which running time was entered as dependent variable whereas age, sex, blood lactate, body mass index, VO2max, mean training regimen and the hematological parameters significantly associated with running performance in univariate analysis were entered as independent variables, only MPV values before and after the trial remained significantly associated with running time. After adjustment for platelet count, the MPV value before the run (p = 0.042), but not thereafter (p = 0.247), remained significantly associated with running performance.

Conclusion: The significant association between baseline MPV and running time suggest that hyperactive platelets may exert some pleiotropic effects on endurance performance. Copyright:

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0112892
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 11 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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