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Serum creatine kinase and isoenzyme responses of veteran class fell runners

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The exercise response of creatine kinase (CK) and creatine kinase MB (CK-MB) was studied in 11 veteran class male fell runners (aged >40 years) following (1) a laboratory functional diagnostic test (GXT) to maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max), (2) a competitive fell race (8 km distance and 419 m total height gain) at approx. 80% VO2 max. Subjects rested for 72 h pre- and 24 h post-GXT test, resuming normal training for 8 days before resting again 72 h pre- and 24 h post-fell race. Blood samples were obtained during normal training, pre- and 24 h post-GXT test, and pre-, 24 and 48 h post-fell race. Two distinct exercise profiles emerged. Post-GXT test CK-MB rose significantly (x 2.0 U·1−1, p<0.05) with the mean values of per cent CK-MB to CK (MB/CK%) rising to 4.4% (p<0.01). Total CK remained stable at 50 U·1−1. Post-fell race CK-MB rose significantly (x 2.4 U·1−1, p<0.01) with the mean MB/CK% rising to 3.1% (p<0.05) and total CK to 81.6 U·1−1 (p<0.01). Two subjects who exhibited ECG abnormalities during and post-GXT test, were observed to have the highest MB/CK% post-test (8.2 and 5.6% respectively) and the highest CK-MB (2.3 and 3.7 U·−1). An inverse relationship was observed between MB/CK% and time to complete the fell race. It is probable that the increase in serum isoenzyme CK-MB following exercise arises from myocardial tissue efflux, reflecting reversible ischaemia. CK-MB appears to be a very specific indicator of myocardial stress during exercise.

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Correspondence to B. Davies.

Additional information

This research was funded by the Preston District Health Authority Research Committee

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Davies, B., Daggett, A. & Watt, D.A.L. Serum creatine kinase and isoenzyme responses of veteran class fell runners. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 48, 345–354 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00430224

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Key words

  • Isoenzymes
  • Treadmill
  • Fell-runners