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The following electronic only articles are published in conjunction with this issue of BJSM.

The validity of capillary blood sampling in the determination of human growth hormone concentration during exercise in adult men

R J Godfrey, G Whyte, J McCarthy, A Nevill, T Head

Background: Studies measuring human growth hormone (hGH) in blood during exercise have mainly used venous sampling. The invasive nature of this procedure makes evaluation of hGH impossible in various exercise environments.

Objective: To determine whether capillary sampling could offer an alternative sampling method.

Methods: Capillary and venous blood samples were collected for determination of hGH at the end of each exercise stage during an incremental exercise test in 16 male club level competitive cyclists (mean (SD) age 30.8 (8.0) years, body mass 72.2 (7.1) kg, body fat 12.9 (3.5)%, peak oxygen consumption 4.18 (0.46) l?min21). Linear regression, from a plot of venous v capillary blood hGH concentration, showed a correlation coefficient of r = 0.986 (p,0.001). When geometric means and log transformations were used, a coefficient of variation of 14.2% was demonstrated between venous and capillary flow for hGH concentration. The mean ratio limits of agreement were 0.62 (1.72)—that is, 95% of the ratios were contained between 0.36 and 1.07, with a mean of 0.62.

Conclusions: Capillary blood sampling is an acceptable alternative to venous sampling for determining hGH concentration during rest and exercise. Sample sites should not be used interchangeably: one site should be chosen and its use standardised.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e27) http://bjsm.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/38/5/e27

Orbital emphysema following nose blowing as a sequel of a snowboard related head injury

Y Taguchi, Y Sakakibara, K Uchida, H Kishi

A case of orbital emphysema as a sequel of a snowboard related head injury is reported. It is believed that a fracture of the medial orbital wall was caused by the increased intraorbital pressure when the patient hit his forehead on the snowy ground, allowing air to enter the orbit when he blew his nose. Wearing goggles may prevent this type of sports related injury.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e28) http://bjsm.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/38/5/e28

Self reported injury patterns among competitive curlers in the United States: a preliminary investigation into the epidemiology of curling injuries

J C Reeser, R L Berg

Objective: To investigate the injury patterns among competitive.

Methods: Participants at two curling championship events were asked to complete injury history questionnaires.

Results: 76 curlers (39%) participated; 79% of these reported curling related musculoskeletal pain, most commonly involving the knee (54%), back (33%), and shoulder (20%). Sweeping and delivering the stone were most likely to provoke symptoms. Time loss injuries were estimated to occur at a rate of 2 per 1000 athlete exposures.

Conclusions: Curling appears to be a relatively safe winter sport. Prospective studies are needed to confirm these preliminary findings and to further define the risk factors for curling related injuries.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e29) http://bjsm.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/38/5/e29

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