Cardiac troponin: more than meets the eye

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Exercise is known to have a vast array of health benefits. It may however confer delirious effects on most body systems, with the cardiovascular system taking particular prominence. Athletes in particular are known to be at a higher risk for sudden cardiac death as a result of several cardiac adaptations which take place. Myocardial damage as a result of extreme exertional activities is thought to play a very important role in this risk. Cardiac troponin I is widely known to be an excellent diagnostic marker which is used in patients suspected of having acute coronary syndrome. Its release during exercise has been routinely studied, with many hypotheses currently being proposed as to its role and potential complications once released. Whether or not it implies that myocardial damage is taking place as a result of exercise is debatable, but its release might have some role in the development of cardiotoxic states which predisposes athletes to significant cardiac risk. This review aims to discuss the proposed mechanisms in exercise-induced troponin release, while also goes into its clinical relevance and potential early and late sequelae.

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