Changes in blood flow in conduit artery and veins of the upper arm during leg exercise in humans

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008 Jun;103(3):367-73. doi: 10.1007/s00421-008-0706-x. Epub 2008 Mar 28.


This study investigated changes in blood flow in the conduit artery, superficial vein, and deep vein of the upper arm during increase in internal temperature due to leg cycling. Additionally, we sought to demonstrate the contributions of blood velocity and vessel diameter on blood flow responses. Fourteen subjects performed supine cycling exercise at 60-69% maximal oxygen uptake for 30 min at an ambient temperature of 28 degrees C and relative humidity of 50%. Blood velocity and diameter in the brachial artery, basilic vein (superficial vein), and brachial vein (deep vein) were measured using ultrasound Doppler, and blood flow was calculated. Blood flow in the artery and superficial vein increased linearly with rising oesophageal temperature (DeltaT (oes)) after DeltaT (oes) was about 0.3 degrees C (within threshold), as well as cutaneous vascular conductance on the forearm. Changes in blood velocity in these vessels were similar to those in blood flow. Conversely, the brachial artery and superficial vein diameter did not affect the blood flow response. Blood flow variables in the deep vein did not change remarkably with rising DeltaT (oes). These results suggest that blood flow response, by an increase in velocity, in the conduit artery with rising DeltaT (oes) during exercise is similar to that in the superficial vein, but not deep vein. Also, it is indicated that these increases in blood flow relate to the increase in skin blood flow on the forearm with the rise in body temperature during exercise.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arm / blood supply*
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Pressure
  • Body Temperature
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachial Artery / physiology*
  • Brachiocephalic Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachiocephalic Veins / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Leg / physiology*
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler