The present study examined the effect of breath-hold without a Valsalva maneuver during isometric exercise on arterial blood pressure (ABP) and cerebral blood flow (CBF).
Twenty healthy adults (15 men and five women) randomly performed only breath-hold without a Valsalva maneuver (BH), and an isometric handgrip exercise for 30 s at 40% of individual maximal voluntary contraction with continuous breathing (IHG) and with breath-hold without the Valsalva maneuver (IHG–BH). Mean ABP (MAP) and blood velocity in the middle (MCA Vmean) and posterior cerebral arteries (PCA Vmean) were continuously measured throughout each protocol.
MAP was elevated during the IHG–BH compared with IHG (P < 0.001) and BH (P = 0.001). Similarly, both MCA Vmean and PCA Vmean were higher during IHG–BH compared with IHG and BH (all P < 0.001). Moreover, the relative change in MAP from the baseline was correlated with that in both cerebral blood velocities during the BH (MCA Vmean: r = 0.739, P < 0.001 and PCA Vmean: r = 0.570, P = 0.009) and IHG–BH (MCA Vmean: r = 0.755, P < 0.001 and PCA Vmean: r = 0.617, P = 0.003) condition, but not the IHG condition (P = 0.154 and P = 0.306).
These results indicate that during isometric exercise, a breath-hold enhances an exercise-induced increase in MAP and, consequently, MCA Vmean and PCA Vmean.
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Arterial blood pressure
Cerebral blood flow
Isometric handgrip exercise
Mean arterial pressure
Middle cerebral artery
Maximal voluntary contraction
Posterior cerebral artery
- P ETCO2 :
End-tidal partial pressure of carbon dioxide
Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography
- V E :
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All procedure conformed to the Declaration of Helsinki and were approved by the Institutional Review Boards of the Faculty of Science Engineering, Toyo University (Approval Number: TU2019-004) in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.
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Watanabe, H., Washio, T., Saito, S. et al. Effect of breath-hold on the responses of arterial blood pressure and cerebral blood velocity to isometric exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00421-021-04822-1
- Cerebral hyperperfusion
- Middle cerebral artery
- Posterior cerebral artery
- Handgrip exercise