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New study reports effects of endurance running
Date:11/28/2010

CHICAGO Using a mobile MRI unit, researchers followed runners for two months along a 4,500-kilometer course to study how their bodies responded to the high-stress conditions of an ultra-long-distance race, according to a study presented today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA).

"Due to the exceptional setting of this study, we could acquire huge amounts of unique data regarding how endurance running affects the body's muscle and body fat," said Uwe Schtz, M.D., a specialist in orthopedics and trauma surgery in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology at the University Hospital of Ulm in Germany. "Much of what we have learned so far can also be applied to the average runner."

The TransEurope-FootRace 2009 took place from April 19 to June 21, 2009. It started in southern Italy and traversed approximately 4,488 kilometers to the North Cape in Norway. Forty-four of the runners (66 percent) agreed to participate in the study.

Urine and blood samples as well as biometric data were collected daily. The runners were also randomly assigned to other exams, including electrocardiograms, during the course of the study. Twenty-two of the runners in the study underwent a whole-body MRI exam approximately every three or four days during the race, totaling 15 to 17 exams over a period of 64 days. At the close of the race, researchers began to evaluate the data to determine, among other things, stress-induced changes in the legs and feet from running. Whole-body volume, body fat, visceral fat, abdominal subcutaneous adipose tissue (SCAT), and fat and skeletal muscle of the lower extremities were measured. Advanced MRI techniques allowed the researchers to quantify muscle tissue, fat and cartilage changes. According to Dr. Schtz, MRI is the gold standard for the evaluation of the musculoskeletal system of the runner.

The results showed that runners lost an average of 5.4 percent body vo
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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