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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 115, Issue 9, pp 2019–2029 | Cite as

Peripheral conduit and resistance artery function are improved following a single, 1-h bout of peristaltic pulse external pneumatic compression

  • Jeffrey S. MartinEmail author
  • Alexandra R. Borges
  • Darren T. Beck
Original Article

Abstract

Introduction

External pneumatic compression (EPC) is being employed for a widening range of clinical and non-clinical populations. However, EPC devices vary markedly in treatment pressures, duty cycles and application sites, and the acute effects of whole limb, lower pressure EPC on peripheral vascular function have not been determined.

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to determine the acute effects of a single bout of peristaltic pulse EPC on peripheral conduit and resistance artery function.

Methods

Twenty (n = 20; males = 12 and females = 8) young and apparently healthy subjects (aged 26.1 ± 8.2 years) participated in this study. A sequential EPC device with five inflation zones arranged linearly and inflating distal to proximal along the lower limbs was employed with target inflation pressures of 70 mmHg for 1 h. Flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of the brachial and popliteal arteries was evaluated with ultrasound before and after EPC. Venous occlusion plethysmography was employed to evaluate limb blood flow at rest and during reactive hyperemia (RH) in the forearm (FBF) and calf (CBF) before and after EPC.

Results

Peak RH CBF was increased by 9 % after EPC (P < 0.05), whereas peak RH FBF (−10 %) did not change significantly (P > 0.25). Normalized popliteal artery FMD post-EPC (2.24 ± 1.41) was significantly higher than pre-EPC (1.36 ± 0.67, P = 0.015) and post-sham (1.58 ± 0.86, P = 0.032) values. Similarly, normalized brachial artery FMD post-EPC (1.47 ± 0.32) was significantly higher than pre-EPC (1.11 ± 0.41, P = 0.004) and post-sham (0.99 ± 0.27, P = 0.026) values.

Conclusion

Acutely, whole limb, lower pressure EPC improves conduit artery endothelial function systemically, but only improves RH blood flow locally (i.e., compressed limbs).

Keywords

Endothelial function External pneumatic compression Flow-mediated dilation Peripheral vascular function Venous occlusion plethysmography 

Abbreviations

6-Keto-PGF1α

6-Keto prostaglandin F1α

AMPK

AMP-activated protein kinase

ATP

Adenosine triphosphate

BP

Blood pressure

CAD

Coronary artery disease

CBF

Calf blood flow

CVC

Calf vascular conductance

eNOS

Endothelial nitric oxide synthase

EPC

External pneumatic compression

EECP

Enhanced external counterpulsation

FBF

Forearm blood flow

FMD

Flow-mediated dilation

aFMD

Absolute FMD

%FMD

Relative FMD

nFMD

FMD normalized to shear rate

FVC

Forearm vascular conductance

IL-6

Interleukin-6

IPC

Intermittent pneumatic compression

mRNA

Messenger RNA

NO

Nitric oxide

PGI2

Prostacyclin

RH

Reactive hyperemia

SNS

Sympathetic nervous system

VOP

Venous occlusion plethysmography

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors wish to thank all participants for their time and adherence to protocol directives. Partial support for this study was provided by NormaTec (Newton Center, MA) through a contract awarded to J.S.M.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Cell Biology and PhysiologyEdward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Auburn CampusAuburnUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical SciencesQuinnipiac UniversityHamdenUSA
  3. 3.Department of KinesiologyUniversity of Rhode IslandKingstonUSA

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