Skip to main content

Procalcitonin concentrations in blood after long-distance running

Full text

Incidence of injuries and other health problems is known during prolonged running and recent studies suggest that exercise-induced damage may trigger production of pro-inflammatory molecules.

The aim of the study

The present study investigates to what extent prolonged strenuous exercise influences the plasma concentrations of procalcitonin as well as cytokines inhibitors and anti-inflammatory cytokines.


After informed consent, 4 marathon runners and 10 half-marathon runners were recruited and investigated 12 h before running, immediately after the end of the run and 24 h later. Blood samples were collected at each time and PCT concentrations in plasma were measured with a luminometric method (Brahms). The plasma concentrations of TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-1 ra, sTNF-r1, sTNF-r2 were measured by ELISA. Statistical analysis used Systat (Jandel).


The mean duration for marathon running was 235± 18 min and 105± 10 min for half-marathon running. The highest concentration of IL-6 and TNFα was found immediately after the run. Time course (1 = 12 h before; 2 = immediately after and 3 = 24 h later) of blood PCT, ng/ml is presented in the figure (P<0.001).


This study suggests that long-distance running may trigger production of TNF α and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which stimulate the production of PCT. As it has been demonstrated in sepsis, PCT may be an early marker of elevated cytokines and muscle and/or splanchnic damage.

figure 1


Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Leon, A., Lepousé, C., Floch, T. et al. Procalcitonin concentrations in blood after long-distance running. Crit Care 4 (Suppl 1), P75 (2000).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: