Muscle Blood-Flow Dynamics at Exercise Onset: Do The Limbs Differ?

TSCHAKOVSKY, MICHAEL E.1; SAUNDERS, NATASHA R.1; WEBB, KATHERINE A.2; O'DONNELL, DENIS E.2

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: October 2006 - Volume 38 - Issue 10 - pp 1811-1818
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000230341.86870.4f
SYMPOSIUM: Skeletal Muscle Blood Flow and Metabolism: Are There Inherent Limb Differences?

ABSTRACT: Common approaches to understanding control of muscle blood flow in exercise focus on the contributions of various putative vasoregulatory mechanisms to the magnitude of the steady-state response. The application of systems-control principles offers a unique approach to characterizing and quantifying the non-steady-state adaptation of muscle blood flow with exercise onset. Information gained from this approach provides novel insight into the nature of control mechanisms governing physiological responses to exercise. This review is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of 1) exercise models, methodology for measuring muscle blood flow, and analysis approaches for quantifying muscle blood-flow dynamics; 2) what is currently known about the dynamic response of muscle blood-flow control mechanisms in humans; and 3) the similarities and differences in exercising muscle blood-flow control in the upper versus the lower limbs in humans.

1School of Physical and Health Education and 2Department of Medicine, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, CANADA

Address for correspondence: Michael E. Tschakovsky, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Human Vascular Control Laboratory, School of Kineseology and Health Studies, Queen's University, Kingston, ON K7L 3N6 Canada; E-mail: mt29@post.queensu.ca.

Submitted for publication December 2005.

Accepted for publication February 2006.

©2006The American College of Sports Medicine