The impact of ultramarathon (UM) runs on the organs of competitors, especially elite individuals, is poorly understood. We tested a 36-year-old UM runner before, 1–2 days after, and 10–11 days after winning a 24-h UM as a part of the Polish Championships (258.228 km). During each testing session, we performed an electrocardiogram (ECG), transthoracic echocardiography (TTE), cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), cardiac 31
P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (31
P MRS), and blood tests. Initially, increased cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels were identified. The day after the UM, increased levels of white blood cells, neutrophils, fibrinogen, alanine aminotransferase, aspartate aminotransferase, creatine kinase, C-reactive protein, and N-terminal type B natriuretic propeptide were observed. Additionally, decreases in hemoglobin, hematocrit, cholesterol, LDL-C, and hyponatremia were observed. On day 10, all measurements returned to normal levels, and cholesterol and LDL-C returned to their baseline abnormal values. ECG, TTE, MRI, and 31
P MRS remained within the normal ranges, demonstrating physiological adaptation to exercise. The transient changes in laboratory test results were typical for the extreme efforts of the athlete and most likely reflected transient but massive striated muscle damage, liver cell damage, activation of inflammatory processes, effects on the coagulation system, exercise-associated hyponatremia, and cytoprotective or growth-regulatory effects. These results indicated that many years of intensive endurance training and numerous UMs (including the last 24-h UM) did not have a permanent adverse effect on this world-class UM runner’s body and heart. Transient post-competition anomalies in laboratory test results were typical of those commonly observed after UM efforts.
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