European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 95, Issue 1, pp 83–87 | Cite as

Limb vasodilatory capacity and venous capacitance of trained runners and untrained males

  • Yati N. BoutcherEmail author
  • Stephen H. Boutcher
Original Article


Aerobically trained athletes possess enhanced vasodilatory capacity and venous capacitance in their exercising muscles. However, whether they also possess these characteristics in their non-specific exercising muscles is undetermined. This study examined vasodilatory capacity and venous capacitance of specific (legs) and non-specific exercising muscles (arms) of ten trained runners and ten active but untrained males aged 18–35 years. Venous occlusion plethysmography determined baseline and peak blood flow after 5 min of reactive hyperaemia. Forearm and leg venous capacitance were determined as the difference between baseline and 2 min of venous occlusion at 50 mmHg. During reactive hyperaemia, trained runners had higher leg (48.4±5.3 ml·100 ml tissue−1·min−1) and arm (40.8±2.1 ml·100 ml tissue−1·min−1) vasodilatory capacity compared to the untrained (leg: 37.3±2.5 ml·100 ml tissue−1·min−1; arm: 34.2±2.2 ml·100 ml tissue−1·min−1; P<0.05), and higher calf vascular conductance (0.51±0.06 ml·100 ml tissue−1·min−1·mmHg−1 versus 0.35±0.03 ml·100 ml tissue−1·min−1·mmHg−1; P<0.05). The trained also had higher venous capacitance in both arms (3.5±0.2 ml 100·ml−1) and legs (4.8±0.1 ml·100 ml−1) compared to the untrained (3.0±0.2 ml 100·ml−1; 4.2±0.2 ml·100 ml−1; P<0.05). These findings show that vasculature adaptations to running occur in both specific and non-specific exercising muscles.


Plethysmography Vascular conductance 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Medical SciencesThe University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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