Biomarkers of Cardiac Stress and Injury in Athletes: What Do They Mean?


Purpose of the Review

Markers of myocardial stress, including troponin, creatine kinase, and brain natriuretic peptide are frequently elevated after endurance athletic pursuits. Here, we summarize the current literature pertaining to the potential mechanism of cardiac enzyme release in athletes and seek to determine the clinical implications of these findings.

Recent Findings

Recent studies have highlighted the potential adverse cardiac effects of long-term extreme endurance exercise. While troponin release occurs in a pattern distinct from ischemic damage, BNP release has been correlated with right ventricular dysfunction and is likely related to wall stress from prolonged increases in cardiac output. Higher intensity pre-race training regimes are associated with lower race-day enzyme release.


While the holistic benefits of regular moderate exercise are indisputable, recent studies have raised concerns about the potential risks of extreme endurance exercise. Release of serum biomarkers suggesting myocardial damage was first described in the 1970s, yet our understanding of the implications of these findings remains incomplete. The mechanisms of release are complex but appear to be primarily physiological phenomena rather than pathologic.


Athletes Cardiac injury Endurance exercise Myocardial damage 

Autor / Fonte:Eoin Donnellan, Dermot Phelan Current Heart Failure Reports 2018 March 8