Exercise-induced vasodilation is not impaired following radial artery catheterization in coronary artery disease patients

Andrea Tryfonos, Matthew Cocks, Joseph Mills, Daniel J Green, Ellen A Dawson

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Diagnosis and treatment for coronary artery disease (CAD) often involves angiography and/or percutaneous coronary intervention. However, the radial artery catheterization required during both procedures may result in acute artery dysfunction/damage. While exercise-based rehabilitation is recommended for CAD patients following catheterization, it is not known if there is a period when exercise may be detrimental due to catheter-induced damage. Animal studies have demonstrated exercise-induced paradoxical vasoconstriction postcatheterization. This study aimed to examine arterial responses to acute exercise following catheterization. Thirty-three CAD patients (65.8 ± 7.3 yr, 31.5 ± 6.3 kg/m2, 82% men) undergoing transradial catheterization were assessed before and 1 wk postcatheterization. Radial artery (RA) diameter and shear rate were assessed during handgrip exercise (HE), in both the catheterized (CATH) and control (CON) arms. Endothelial function was also assessed via simultaneous bilateral radial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) at both time points. We found that the increase in RA diameter and shear stress in response to HE (P < 0.0001) was maintained postcatheterization in both the CATH and CON arms, whereas FMD following catheterization was impaired in the CATH [6.5 ± 3.3 to 4.7 ± 3.5% (P = 0.005)] but not in the CON [6.2 ± 2.6 to 6.4 ± 3.5% (P = 0.797)] limb. While endothelial dysfunction, assessed by FMD, was apparent 1 wk postcatheterization, the ability of the RA to dilate in response to exercise was not impaired. The impact of catheterization and consequent endothelial denudation on vascular dys/function in humans may therefore be stimulus specific, and a highly level of redundancy appears to exist that preserves exercise-mediated vasodilator responses.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Despite depressed flow-mediated endothelium-dependent dilation following catheterization-induced damage, radial artery responses to handgrip exercise were preserved. This suggests that arterial responses to catheterization may be stimulus specific and that redundant mechanisms may compensate for vasodilator impairment during exercise. This has implications for exercise-based rehabilitation after catheterization.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-428
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of applied physiology (Bethesda, Md. : 1985)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


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