BACKGROUND: The change in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) levels follows a paradox imposed by strenuous endurance exercise. Previous reports showed significant body weight (BW) loss was common in ultramarathon runners. This study investigated whether the BW change and renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system activation contribute to exercise-induced NT-proBNP release. METHODS: A total of 26 participants who finished a 100 km ultramarathon in Taiwan were enrolled. For each participant, blood samples and spot urine samples were collected 1 week before the race, as well as immediately and 24 hours after the finish. BW change was recorded to monitor the hydration status. RESULTS: Prolonged endurance exercise led to a substantial increase in NT-proBNP. Compared with prerace values, NT-proBNP levels significantly increased immediately after the race (24.3 ± 20.2 pg/mL to 402.9 ± 305.9 pg/mL, p < 0.05) and maintained high levels until 24 hours after the race (143.7 ± 126.1 pg/mL, p < 0.05). The fractional excretion of sodium values was below 1% in three different time points. The 100 km ultramarathon resulted in significant BW loss and elevated renin and aldosterone levels. However, only 24 hours after the race, a positive significant relationship was found between NT-proBNP and aldosterone levels (p = 0.007, r = 0.267), but a negative significant relationship between NT-proBNP and BW increased during the recovery phase (p < 0.001, r = 0.372). CONCLUSION: The mechanism of NT-proBNP release immediately following the race was multifaceted. During the recovery phase, rehydration might lead to the decrease of NT-proBNP. Our observations with regard to aldosterone and NT-proBNP might be in response to help the body maintains hydration state.
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