Post-exercise hyperemia after ischemic and non-ischemic isometric handgrip exercise

J Physiol Anthropol Appl Human Sci. 2003 Nov;22(6):299-309. doi: 10.2114/jpa.22.299.


Post-exercise related time course of muscle oxygenation during recovery provides valuable information on peripheral vascular disease. The purpose of the present study was to examine post-exercise hyperemia (forearm blood flow; FBF, Doppler ultrasound) assessed by peak FBF, excess FBF and the time constant for FBF (FBF(Tc)) following isometric handgrip exercise (IHE). Post-exercise hyperemia was assessed in an ischemic and non-ischemic state at different exercise intensities and durations. Peak FBF and excess FBF were defined as the maximum FBF during recovery, and the total amount of FBF volume, respectively. FBF(Tc) represents the time to reach approximately 37% of the change in FBF between peak FBF and resting FBF (delta peak FBF). Ten subjects performed IHE at "10% and 30% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC)" for 2 min with or without arterial occlusion (AO), followed by 2 min of AO alone (Study I). In Study II, six subjects performed 30%MVC-IHE with AO for "100%, 66%, 33% and 10% of the exhausted exercise duration" (time to exhaustion). In Study I, although peak FBF and excess FBF were significantly higher in ischemic than non-ischemic IHE for both 10% and 30%MVC (p<0.05), FBF(Tc) was similar in the ischemic and non-ischemic conditions. The peak FBF, excess FBF and FBF(Tc) were all significantly higher at 30% than at 10%MVC (p<0.05). In Study II, the peak FBF and excess FBF increased linearly compared to the absolute and relative exercise durations for ischemic IHE. FBF(Tc) increased exponentially when compared to the absolute and relative exercise durations. These data suggest the ischemic exercise has a larger hyperemic response compared to the non-ischemic exercise. In conclusion, the peak FBF, excess FBF and FBF(Tc) seen during post-exercise hyperemia are closely correlated with exercise intensity and duration, not only in non-ischemic, but also in the ischemic exercise. In combination with the ischemic exercise, these parameters could potentially prove to be valuable indicators of peripheral vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Forearm / blood supply*
  • Forearm / diagnostic imaging
  • Forearm / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Hyperemia / physiopathology*
  • Japan
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Time Factors
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler, Duplex