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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2013 Nov;113(11):2705-12. doi: 10.1007/s00421-013-2709-5. Epub 2013 Aug 22.

Alterations in coagulatory and fibrinolytic systems following an ultra-marathon.

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Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT, USA,



The aim of this study was to examine coagulatory and fibrinolytic responses to the Western States Endurance Run (WSER, June 23 to 24, 2012). The WSER is a 161-km (100 mile) trail foot race through the Sierra Nevada Mountains that involves 6,030 m of climb and 7,001 m of descent.


We examined 12 men and 4 women [mean (95 % CI), age 44.6 years (38.7-50.6)] who completed the race (24.64 h; range 16.89-29.46). Blood samples were collected the morning before the race, immediately post-race, and 1 (D1) and 2 (D2) days post-race (corresponding to 51-54 h and 75-78 h from the start of the race, respectively). Hypercoagulable state was characterized by prothrombin fragment 1+2 (PTF 1+2) and thrombin-antithrombin complex (TAT). Fibrinolytic state was assessed by plasminogen activator inhibitor antigen (PAI-1 Ag), tissue plasminogen activator antigen (tPA Ag), and D-Dimer. Muscle damage was assessed by serum creatine kinase (CK) and myoglobin concentrations.


Significant (P ≤ 0.05) increases were observed immediately post-race for thrombin generation markers, PTF 1+2 (3.9-fold) and TAT (2.4-fold); markers of fibrinolysis, tPA Ag (4.0-fold), PAI-1 Ag (4.5-fold), and D-Dimer (2.2-fold); and muscle damage markers, CK (154-fold) and myoglobin (114-fold). Most markers continued to be elevated at D1, as seen by PTF 1+2, TAT (1.5- and 1.3-fold increase at D1), and D-Dimer (2.5- and 2.1-fold increase at D1 and D2, respectively). Additionally, PTF 1+2:tPA and TAT:tPA ratios, which assessed balance between coagulation and fibrinolysis, were slightly, but significantly increased at D1 (69 and 36 %) and D2 (19 and 31 %). CK and myoglobin also remained elevated at D1 (54- and 7-fold) and D2 (25- and 2-fold) time points.


The WSER produced extensive muscle damage and activated the coagulation and fibrinolytic systems. Since we observed a slight imbalance response between the two systems, a limited potential for thrombotic episodes is apparent in these highly trained athletes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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