Conduit artery diameter during exercise is enhanced after local, but not remote, ischemic preconditioning

Scott Cocking, N. T. Cable, Mathew G. Wilson, Daniel J. Green, Dick H.J. Thijssen, Helen Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: The ability of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) to enhance exercise capacity may be mediated through altering exercise-induced blood flow and/or vascular function. This study investigated the hypothesis that (local) IPC enhances exercise-induced blood flow responses and prevents decreases in vascular function following exercise. Methods: Eighteen healthy, recreationally trained, male participants (mean ±SD: age 32 ± 8 years; BMI 24.2 ± 2.3; blood pressure 122 ± 10/72 ± 8 mmHg; resting HR 58 ± 9 beats min-1) received IPC (220 mmHg; 4 × 5-min bilateral arms), REMOTE IPC (220 mmHg; 4 × 5-min bilateral legs), or SHAM (20 mmHg; 4 × 5-min bilateral arms) in a counterbalanced order prior to 30-min of submaximal (25% maximal voluntary contraction) unilateral rhythmic handgrip exercise. Brachial artery diameter and blood flow were assessed every 5-min throughout the 30-min submaximal exercise using high resolution ultrasonography. Pre- and post-exercise vascular function was measured using flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Results: IPC resulted in enlarged brachial artery diameter during exercise [0.016 cm (0.003-0.03 cm), P = 0.015] compared to REMOTE IPC, but blood flow during exercise was similar between conditions (P > 0.05). Blood flow (l/min) increased throughout exercise (time: P < 0.005), but there was no main effect of condition (P = 0.29) or condition * time interaction (P = 0.83). Post-exercise FMD was similar between conditions (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Our data show that local (but not remote) IPC, performed as a strategy prior to exercise, enhanced exercise-induced conduit artery diameter dilation, but these changes do not translate into increased blood flow during exercise nor impact post-exercise vascular function.

Original languageEnglish
Article number435
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberAPR
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2018


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