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Systemic Effects of Segmental Vibration in an Animal Model of Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome

Krajnak, Kristine, PhD; Waugh, Stacy, MS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: October 2018 - Volume 60 - Issue 10 - p 886–895
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000001396

Objective: Epidemiology suggests that occupational exposure to hand-transmitted (segmental) vibration has local and systemic effects. This study used an animal model of segmental vibration to characterize the systemic effects of vibration.

Methods: Male Sprague Dawley rats were exposed to tail vibration for 10 days. Genes indicative of inflammation, oxidative stress, and cell cycle, along were measured in the heart, kidney, prostate, and liver.

Results: Vibration increased oxidative stress and pro-inflammatory gene expression, and decreased anti-oxidant enzymes in heart tissue. In the prostate and liver, vibration resulted in changes in the expression of pro-inflammatory factors and genes involved in cell cycle regulation.

Conclusions: These changes are consistent with epidemiological studies suggesting that segmental vibration has systemic effects. These effects may be mediated by changes in autonomic nervous system function, and/or inflammation and oxidative stress.

Engineering Controls and Technology Branch, Health Effects Laboratory Division, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, Washington.

Address correspondence to: Kristine Krajnak, PhD, NIOSH/ECTB, 1095 Willowdale Rd., MS 2027, Morgantown, WV 26501 (

This work was funded by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Disclaimer: The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Krajnak and Waugh have no relationships/conditions/circumstances that present potential conflict of interest.

The JOEM editorial board and planners have no financial interest related to this research.

Copyright © 2018 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine