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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2019 Feb;119(2):455-464. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-4043-4. Epub 2018 Nov 29.

Tensiomyography parameters and serum biomarkers after eccentric exercise of the elbow flexors.

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Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Duesseldorf, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225, Duesseldorf, Germany.
Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Duesseldorf, Moorenstrasse 5, 40225, Duesseldorf, Germany.
Department of Orthopedics, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany.
Faculty of Sport Sciences, Goethe University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.



The tensiomyography (TMG) technique is increasingly used to determine muscle contractile properties in exercise and injury management. The present study investigated the informative value of TMG parameters in correlation with commonly used (creatine kinase, CK; myoglobin, Mb) and novel candidate biomarkers of muscle damage (heart-type fatty acid-binding protein, h-FABP; high-mobility group box 1, HMGB1).


Ten untrained men performed 6 × 10 eccentric contractions of the elbow flexors at 110% of the concentric one repetition maximum. CK, Mb, h-FABP, HMGB1, arm circumference, pain and TMG data, including maximal displacement (Dm) and temporal outcomes as the contraction time (Tc), sustained time (Ts), delay time (Td), and relaxation time (Tr), were assessed pre-exercise, post-exercise, 20 min, 2 h and on the consecutive 3 days post-exercise.


CK and h-FABP significantly increased beginning at 24 h, Mb already increased at 2 h (p < 0.05). HMGB1 was only increased immediately post-exercise (p = 0.02). Tc and Td remained unchanged, whereas Ts and Tr were significantly slower beginning at 24 h (p < 0.05). Dm was decreased within the first 24 h and after 72 h (p < 0.01). The % change from pre-exercise correlated for Dm with CK, Mb, and h-FABP the highest at 48 h (r = - 0.95, - 0.87 and - 0.79; p < 0.01) and for h-FABP with CK and Mb the highest at 24 h (r = 0.96 and 0.94, for all p < 0.001).


This study supports the correlation of TMG parameters with muscle damage markers after eccentric exercise. Therefore, TMG could represent a non-invasive and cost effective alternative to quantify the degree of muscle damage after exercise interventions.


Creatine kinase; EIMD; HMGB1; Myoglobin; Nonresponder; h-FABP


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