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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2014 Aug;114(8):1725-35. doi: 10.1007/s00421-014-2898-6. Epub 2014 May 16.

Characterization of electrocardiogram changes throughout a marathon.

Author information

1
Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Iroquois 400A, 3600 Meyran Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA, 15261, US, vfranco@mednet.ucla.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

There are few data examining cardiovascular physiology throughout a marathon. This study was devised to characterize electrocardiographic activity continuously throughout a marathon.

METHODS:

Cardiac activity was recorded from 19 subjects wearing a Holter monitor during a marathon. The 19 subjects (14 men and 5 women) were aged 39 ± 16 years (mean ± SD) and completed a marathon in 4:32:16 ± 1:23:35. Heart rate (HR), heart rate variability (HRV), T-wave amplitude, T-wave amplitude variability, and T-wave alternans (TWA) were evaluated continuously throughout the marathon.

RESULTS:

Averaged across all subjects, HRV, T-wave amplitude variability, and TWA increased throughout the marathon. Increased variability in T-wave amplitude occurred in 86 % of subjects, characterized by complex oscillatory patterns and TWA. Three min after the marathon, HR was elevated and HRV was suppressed relative to the pre-marathon state.

CONCLUSION:

HRV and T-wave amplitude variability, especially in the form of TWA, increase throughout a marathon. Increasing TWA as a marathon progresses likely represents a physiologic process as no arrhythmias or cardiac events were observed.

PMID:
24832192
PMCID:
PMC4101046
DOI:
10.1007/s00421-014-2898-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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