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The following electronic only articles are published in conjunction with this issue of BJSM (see also pages 724, 742, and 753).

Endurance exercise and the production of the vascular endothelial growth factor and haematopoietic factors in patients with anaemia

F Dimeo, W Knauf, D Geilhaupt, et al

Background: Physical activity has been shown to stimulate haematopoiesis in patients with anaemia due to chronic renal failure or haematological malignancies.

Objective: To evaluate the effect of moderate exercise on the production, release, and reuptake of haematopoietically active factors.

Methods: Ten patients (four men and six women, mean (SD) age 51 (10) years) with a haemoglobin concentration under 130 g/l (men) or 120 g/l (women) carried out five three minute exercise bouts at an intensity of 80% of the maximal heart rate, corresponding to a lactate concentration of 3 (0.5) mmol/l. Patients rested for three minutes between bouts. The concentrations of interleukin 6, stem cell factor, granulocyte-monocyte colony stimulating factor, granulocyte colony stimulating factor, erythropoietin, and growth hormone (GH) were evaluated before and in the eight hours after exercise.

Results: GH had risen significantly 15 minutes after exercise (1.1 (1.3) v 2.7 (2.8) ng/ml; p,0.05). No change in the concentration of the other cytokines and growth factors was observed in the eight hours after exercise.

Conclusions: In patients with anaemia, submaximal exercise does not affect the concentration of haematopoietically active cytokines. However, it leads to an increased concentration of GH. This may be responsible for the improved haematopoiesis observed after an exercise programme in patients with chronic diseases.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e37)

Soleus accessorius, an anomalous muscle in a young athlete: case report and analysis of the literature

A Christodoulou, I Terzidis, K Natsis, et al

The soleus accessory muscle is a rare anatomical variation. It usually appears as a soft tissue mass and may be mistaken for a tumour or an inflammatory lesion. The differential diagnoses include ganglion, lipoma, haemangioma, synovioma, and sarcoma. This is a report of such a muscle mass in the leg of a young athlete with 16 years follow up. A review of the English literature on this subject is also presented.

(Br J Sports Med 2004;38:e38)

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