, Volume 109, Issue 6, pp 1221-1224

Effects of upper-limb exercise on lower-limb cutaneous microvascular function in post-surgical varicose-vein patients

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Abstract

Regular walking exercise attenuates lower-limb cutaneous microvascular endothelial dysfunction in post-surgical varicose-vein patients. This study assessed the effects of upper-limb exercise training on lower-limb cutaneous microvascular function in this patient group. Six post-surgical (4–5 weeks) varicose-vein patients completed an 8-week arm-crank exercise training programme. Changes in cutaneous microvascular function of the lower leg were assessed using laser Doppler flowmetry and iontophoretic administration of endothelial-dependent and -independent agonists [acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), respectively]. At 8 weeks, median lower-limb cutaneous vasodilator responsives to ACh and SNP remained unchanged relative to baseline (e.g. 6 mC: 37 (interquartile range 24–63) vs. 40 (20–71) PU and 35 (23–48) vs. 38 (21–64) PU, respectively for the supine position). Upper-limb exercise appears ineffective for improving lower-limb cutaneous microvascular function in post-surgical varicose-vein patients. Therefore, limb specificity appears an important factor in optimal exercise prescription for these patients.

Communicated by Keith George.