The concentration of high-sensitivity troponin I, galectin-3 and NT-proBNP substantially increase after a 60-km ultramarathon

Gian Luca Salvagno, Federico Schena, Matteo Gelati, Elisa Danese, Gianfranco Cervellin, Gian Cesare Guidi, Giuseppe Lippi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: The leading mechanisms responsible for the most prevalent and serious cardiac injuries include myocardiocyte stretch, myocardiocyte necrosis and cardiac fibrosis, which can now be reliably mirrored by measurement of natriuretic peptides, cardiospecific troponins and galectin-3, respectively. Although a large amount of knowledge has been gathered about the behavior and clinical significance of these biomarkers in patients with cardiac disorders, less information is available on their biology in paraphysiological conditions, including highintensity endurance exercise. Methods: The study population consisted of 18 trained athletes, who performed a 60-km ultramarathon run. Blood was collected before the run (i.e., "baseline") and immediately after the end of the ultramarathon ("postmarathon") for measurement of serum high-sensitivity troponin I (TnI), NT-proBNP and galectin-3. Results: The concentration of all biomarkers measured in the post-marathon samples was remarkably increased as compared with the values obtained on baseline specimens. In particular, the median increase was 3.3 for TnI, 3.5 for NT-proBNP and 2.4 for galectin-3, respectively. The frequency of values exceeding the diagnostic threshold did not differ at baseline and after the ultramarathon for TnI (6% vs. 25%; p = 0.15), instead was significantly increased for NT-proBNP (0% vs. 28%; p = 0.016) and galectin-3 (0% vs. 67%; p <0.001). No significant correlation was found among the increase of any of the three biomarkers. Conclusions: The results of this study demonstrate that high-intensity endurance exercise is associated with biochemical abnormalities that may reflect adverse consequences on cardiac structure and biology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-272
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014



  • Cardiac injury
  • Galectin-3
  • Nt-probnp
  • Sports
  • Troponin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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