Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2014) 13, 632 - 637

Case report
Biochemical and Hematological Changes Following the 120-Km Open-Water Marathon Swim
Wojciech Drygas1,2, Ewa Rębowska1, Ewa Stępień3, Jacek Golański4, Magdalena Kwaśniewska1, 
Author Information
1 Department of Social and Preventive Medicine Medical University of Lodz, Lodz, Poland
2 Department of Epidemiology, Cardiovascular Prevention and Health Promotion, National Institute of Cardiology, Warsaw, Poland
3 Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Jagiellonian University Medical College Krakow, Poland
4 Department of Haemostasis and Haemostatic Disorders, Medical University of Lodz, Poland

Magdalena Kwaśniewska
✉ Department of Social and Preventive Medicine Medical University of Lodz, Żeligowskiego 7/9, 90-647 Lodz, Poland
Email: magdalena.kwasniewska@umed.lodz.pl
Publish Date
Received: 02-12-2013
Accepted: 08-03-2014
Published (online): 01-09-2014
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ABSTRACT

Data on physiological effects and potential risks of a ultraendurance swimming are scarce. This report presents the unique case of a 61-year old athlete who completed a non-stop open-water 120-km ultramarathon swim on the Warta River, Poland. Pre-swimming examinations revealed favorable conditions (blood pressure, 110/70 mmHg; rest heart rate, 54 beats/minute, ejection fraction, 60%, 20.2 metabolic equivalents in a maximal exercise test). The swimming time and distance covered were 27 h 33 min and 120 km, respectively. Blood samples for hematological and biochemical parameters were collected 30 min, 4 hrs, 10 hrs and 8 days after the swim. The body temperature of the swimmer was 36.7°C before and 35.1°C after the swim. The hematological parameters remained within the reference range in the postexercise period except for leucocytes (17.5 and 10.6 x G/l noted 30 minutes and 4 hours after the swim, respectively). Serum urea, aspartate aminotransferase and C-reactive protein increased above the reference range reaching 11.3 mmol/l, 1054 nmol/l/s and 25.9 mg/l, respectively. Symptomatic hyponatremia was not observed. Although the results demonstrate that an experienced athlete is able to complete an ultra-marathon swim without negative health consequences, further studies addressing the potential risks of marathon swimming are required.

Key words: Marathon swim, ultraendurance exercise, biochemical, men


           Key Points
  • Data on biochemical changes due to long-distance swimming are scarce.
  • This report presents the unique case of a 61-year old athlete who completed a non-stop open-water 120-km ultramarathon swim.
  • An experienced athlete is able to complete an ultra-marathon swim without serious health consequences.
  • Regarding the growing popularity of marathon swimming further studies addressing the potential risks of such exhaustive exercise are required.
 
 
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