The impact of exercise on derived measures of central pressure and augmentation index obtained from the SphygmoCor device

E.A. Dawson, M.A. Black, J. Pybis, N.T. Cable, Daniel Green

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    13 Citations (Scopus)


    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether measures derived from the SphygmoCor device and its associated transfer function are influenced by exercise-induced alterations in vascular tone. Measurements were taken from either the exercised or the contralateral nonexercised limb during repeated and identical incremental hand-grip protocols. Eight male subjects performed three 3-min bouts of hand-grip exercise on two occasions. The exercise intensities were set at 3 kg, 5 kg, with a final 1.5-kg bout performed during cuff ischemia (1.5Isch). Blood pressure waveforms were recorded from the radial artery of either the exercised or nonexercised limb using applanation tonometry (SphygmoCor) during a 90-s rest period immediately after each exercise bout. Central blood pressures and augmentation indexes (AIx), an index of arterial stiffness, were derived using the peripheral waveform and the inbuilt SphygmoCor transfer function (TF). AIx was consistently ∼10% higher in the exercised arm during all trials compared with the nonexercised limb. Similarly, there was a consistent and significant difference (∼3 mmHg; P <0.05) between exercised and nonexercised arms for the derived central systolic and mean arterial blood pressures. Despite identical bouts of exercise, AIx and central systolic and mean arterial blood pressures derived from applanation tonometry at the peripheral radial artery were statistically different when assessed at the exercising arm vs. the nonexercising arm. Changes in vascular tone with exercise may modify the intrinsic characteristics of the vessel wall and could compromise the assumptions underlying transfer functions used to derive central measures using applanation tonometry.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1896-1901
    JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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