Exercise-induced cardiac hypertrophy: a correlation of blood flow and microvasculature

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1986 Apr;60(4):1259-67. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1986.60.4.1259.


The effects of exercise conditioning on the myocardium were studied in seven instrumented pigs strenuously exercised for 12 wk by treadmill running. Data were compared with eight instrumented untrained pigs. O2 consumption measured during maximum exercise effort was significantly elevated in the trained pigs (71.7 +/- 4.0 vs. 56.3 +/- 3.0 ml X ml-1 X kg-1). Absolute right and left ventricular mass increased by 20 and 13%, respectively, in response to exercise. Myocyte cross-sectional area increased by 21% in the trained hearts compared with the untrained hearts. Transmural left ventricular myocardial blood flow (ml X min-1 X g-1) was not significantly different at rest, during maximum exercise, or during exercise with adenosine infusion. However, training caused an elevation of the regional epicardial blood flow noted during exercise and exercise with adenosine. In the trained pigs mean aortic pressure during maximum exercise with adenosine infusion was not significantly different compared with untrained pigs. Coronary resistance during exercise with adenosine infusion was the same in both animal groups. In the trained group capillary numerical (no./mm2) and length (mm/mm3) densities were reduced, whereas arteriolar numerical and length densities were significantly increased compared with the untrained group. Measurements of capillary luminal surface density (mm2/mm3) in the trained group were unchanged compared with the untrained group. These results suggest that strenuous exercise does not stimulate the production of new capillaries, but this is modified by the ability of existing capillaries to increase their luminal surface area to parallel increases in myocyte growth. The arteriolar data suggest that exercise promotes the formation of new arterioles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Arterioles / pathology
  • Capillaries / pathology
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology*
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Female
  • Hemodynamics
  • Male
  • Microcirculation / pathology
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Swine
  • Vascular Resistance