Intramuscular laser-Doppler flowmetry in the supraspinatus muscle during isometric contractions

  • B. R. Jensen
  • G. Sjøgaard
  • S. Bornmyr
  • M. Arborelius
  • K. Jørgensen
Original Article


To study the regulation of microvascular blood flow in a compartment muscle, laser-Doppler measurements of muscle microcirculation were recorded in the supraspinatus muscle in eight volunteers during and following submaximal isometric muscle contractions. The subjects performed isometric shoulder abductions at five contraction levels from 5% to 50% maximal voluntary contraction for I min each and a sustained 30° shoulder abduction for 20 min. The subjects' perceived exertion increased from “no perceived exertion” to “near maximal exertion” during the 20-min period with 30° shoulder abduction. Microcirculation increased during all 1-min contractions. Following the contractions at 20%, 30% and 50% MVC post-exercise reactive hyperaemia was seen for a period of at least 1 min. The reactive hyperaemia increased in magnitude in response to increasing contraction level. The results showed the same time-history of the blood flow at microvascular level as previously seen in larger peripheral vessels in response to muscle contractions. During the 20-min contraction microcirculation increased in line with the findings during the brief contractions. However, in contrast to the brief contractions no postexercise reactive hyperaemia occurred following the prolonged contraction. Lack of postexercise reactive hyperaemia following the prolonged shoulder abduction would suggest insufficient regulation of the vascular resistance. Alternatively, lack of hyperaemia could be taken as an indication of sufficient microcirculation during the preceding contraction. From previous studies on intramuscular pressure and metabolism the latter alternative would seem unlikely.

Key words

Microcirculation Shoulder Abduction Laser-Doppler 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. R. Jensen
    • 1
  • G. Sjøgaard
    • 1
  • S. Bornmyr
    • 2
  • M. Arborelius
    • 2
  • K. Jørgensen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyNational Institute of Occupational HealthCopenhagenDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Clinical PhysiologyMalmø General HospitalSweden
  3. 3.August Krogh InstituteUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagenDenmark

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