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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effect of blood flow restriction on tissue oxygenation during knee extension

  • Author(s): Ganesan, G
  • Cotter, JA
  • Reuland, W
  • Cerussi, AE
  • Tromberg, BJ
  • Galassetti, PR
  • et al.

PURPOSE: Time-Resolved Near Infrared Spectroscopy (TR-NIRS) was used to quantify tissue oxy- and deoxy-hemoglobin concentrations ([HbO2], [HbR]), and O2 saturation (stO2) in the oblique fibers of the vastus medialis muscle (VMO) and brain prefrontal cortex (PFC) during knee extension with and without blood flow restriction (BFR). METHODS: Six young healthy males performed three sets of knee extensions on a dynamometer (50% 1 RM), separated by 90 sec rest periods, in three conditions: 1) until fatigue without BFR (Fatigue); 2) until fatigue with BFR (100 mm Hg cuff constriction around thigh, BFR); 3) same number of repetitions from condition 2, without BFR (Matched). Each condition was performed on a separate visit. RESULTS: BFR was associated with higher VMO [HbR] (rest 1: 57.8 μM BFR vs. 35.0 μM Matched, p < 0.0001) and a significantly lower stO2 during recovery periods between sets (7.5 - 11.2 % lower than non-BFR conditions for rest 1 and 2, p < 0.0001). Using a piecewise linear spline method, a spike in [HbR] was observed before the onset of HbR clearance during recovery, causing HbR clearance to begin at a higher concentration (BFR: 81 μM vs. Matched: 62 μM, p = 0.029). [HbO2] kinetics during recovery were also affected by BFR, with longer duration (BFR: 51 s, Matched: 31 s, p = 0.047) but lower rate of increase (BFR: 58 μM/min, Matched: 89 μM/min, p = 0.004) during recovery. In the PFC, BFR was associated with increased [HbR], diminished increase in [HbO2], and higher subjective exertion. CONCLUSIONS: These findings yield insight into possible physiological mechanisms of BFR, and suggest a role of TR-NIRS in monitoring and optimization of BFR exercise on an individual basis.

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