Introduction: Sudden cardiac death has a tendency to increase among elite athletes. It has been reported that endurance exercise increased serum concentrations of cardiac biomarkers in elite athletes although it is unclear whether is clinically significant or is a part of the physiological response. Lately, the theory of myocardial stunning is attractive since there is no permanent cellular damage and is transient nature. This prompts us to evaluate the significance of Hsp27 and GP-BB as sensitive and specific biomarkers of myocardial stunning in elite male water polo players.
Materials and Methods: A prospective and experimental study included 20 elite male water polo players, randomly divided into two groups that matched for age, length of active practicing water polo and level of physical stamina. Blood samples for testing were obtained at the following time points: baseline, 1, 30 and 60 min following exercise as well as for control group.
Results: Endurance exercise has resulted in an increased serum concentration of Hsp27 at 50% after 1, 60% after 30 and 80% of water polo players after 60 min. Simultaneously, serum concentration of GPBB were increased in 40% of water polo players after 1 min as well as for 10% after 30 and 60 min. Further analysis has established significantly positive correlations among obtained serum concentration of Hsp27 and GP-BB at 1 (p<0.05) and 30 (p<0.01) min.
Conclusion: Serum concentration of Hsp27 could be important indicator of the risk assessment and prevention of developing heart damage in water polo players or for athletes in general. Positive correlation between Hsp27 and GP-BB indicating the reversibility damages of structural and contractile proteins in myocardial cells. Further investigation is needed to investigate connection to oxidative stress as a significant part of metabolic exhaustion of myocardial cells.