Original Article

European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 103, Issue 3, pp 367-373

First online:

Changes in blood flow in conduit artery and veins of the upper arm during leg exercise in humans

  • Anna OoueAffiliated withLaboratory for Applied Human Physiology, Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University
  • , Tomoko K. IchinoseAffiliated withOsaka International University
  • , Yoshimitsu InoueAffiliated withOsaka International University
  • , Takeshi NishiyasuAffiliated withUniversity of Tsukuba
  • , Shunsaku KogaAffiliated withKobe Design University
  • , Narihiko KondoAffiliated withLaboratory for Applied Human Physiology, Graduate School of Human Development and Environment, Kobe University Email author 

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This study investigated changes in blood flow in the conduit artery, superficial vein, and deep vein of the upper arm during increase in internal temperature due to leg cycling. Additionally, we sought to demonstrate the contributions of blood velocity and vessel diameter on blood flow responses. Fourteen subjects performed supine cycling exercise at 60–69% maximal oxygen uptake for 30 min at an ambient temperature of 28°C and relative humidity of 50%. Blood velocity and diameter in the brachial artery, basilic vein (superficial vein), and brachial vein (deep vein) were measured using ultrasound Doppler, and blood flow was calculated. Blood flow in the artery and superficial vein increased linearly with rising oesophageal temperature (ΔT oes) after ΔT oes was about 0.3°C (within threshold), as well as cutaneous vascular conductance on the forearm. Changes in blood velocity in these vessels were similar to those in blood flow. Conversely, the brachial artery and superficial vein diameter did not affect the blood flow response. Blood flow variables in the deep vein did not change remarkably with rising ΔT oes. These results suggest that blood flow response, by an increase in velocity, in the conduit artery with rising ΔT oes during exercise is similar to that in the superficial vein, but not deep vein. Also, it is indicated that these increases in blood flow relate to the increase in skin blood flow on the forearm with the rise in body temperature during exercise.


Blood velocity Inactive limb Skin blood flow Vessel diameter