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J Sci Med Sport. 2007 Oct;10(5):291-6. Epub 2007 Feb 6.

Serum cardiac troponin T, troponin I, plasma BNP and left ventricular mass index in professional football players.

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Division of Clinical Chemistry, Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden.


Concentrations of cardiac troponins (cTn) in serum or plasma may be elevated in several disease states other than acute coronary syndromes. In heart failure and end stage renal disease, cardiac troponin T (cTnT) correlates positively with left ventricular mass index (LVMI). Exercise-induced elevation of cardiac troponins in well-trained athletes has been confirmed by several reports but the aetiology and clinical significance is unclear. In the present study, we measured baseline concentrations of cardiac markers and investigated whether or not serum cTnT is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy (LVH) in professional football players.


Twenty-three male professional football players with a mean age of 23 years (range 18-32) were studied. Echocardiography and blood sampling were carried out approx 24h after a training session. Serum cTnT, other cardiac markers and plasma brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) were compared with LVMI.


cTnT was only detectable in one subject. The prevalence of elevated cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB (CKMB) and creatine kinase was higher than for cTnT. cTnI concentrations were higher in football players than in controls. LVMI did not correlate with any of the cardiac markers. Plasma BNP concentrations were normal in all subjects.


Serum cTnT concentrations were not elevated in healthy professional football players with LVH. This argues against the hypothesis that LVH per se may cause increased cTnT. The finding of higher cTnI in football players than in non-athletic controls should be confirmed and the aetiology elucidated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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