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Characterization of Frequency-Dependent Responses of the Vascular System to Repetitive Vibration

Krajnak, Kristine PhD; Miller, G. Roger BS; Waugh, Stacey MS; Johnson, Claud BS; Kashon, Michael L. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2012 - Volume 54 - Issue 8 - p 1010–1016
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318255ba74
Original Articles

Objective: Occupational exposure to hand-transmitted vibration can result in damage to nerves and sensory loss. The goal of this study was to assess the frequency-dependent effects of repeated bouts of vibration on sensory nerve function and associated changes in nerves.

Methods: The tails of rats were exposed to vibration at 62.5, 125, or 250 Hz (constant acceleration of 49 m/s2) for 10 days. The effects on sensory nerve function, nerve morphology, and transcript expression in ventral tail nerves were measured.

Results: Vibration at all frequencies had effects on nerve function and physiology. However, the effects tended to be more prominent with exposure at 250 Hz.

Conclusion: Exposure to vibration has detrimental effects on sensory nerve function and physiology. However, many of these changes are more prominent at 250-Hz exposure than at lower frequencies.

From the Engineering and Controls Technology Branch (Dr Krajnak, Mr Miller, Ms Waugh, and Mr Johnson) and Biostatics and Epidemiology Branch (Dr Kashon), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Health Effects Laboratory Division, Morgantown, WVa

Address correspondence to: Kristine Krajnak, PhD, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Rd, MS2027, Morgantown, WV 26505 (

This research was funded by the Health Effects Laboratory Division at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

None of the authors have any conflicts of interest with regards to this research.

©2012The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine