New redistribution index of nutritive blood flow to skeletal muscle during dynamic exercise.
BACKGROUND Cardiac output is effectively redistributed to working muscle by regional changes in vascular resistance. However, there has been no suitable method to quantify blood flow distribution to large working and nonworking muscles involved in ergometer or treadmill exercise.
METHODS AND RESULTS To quantify the redistribution of blood flow, we compared thallium activity in a bicycle pedaling leg with that in the contralateral resting leg in 10 normal subjects. The regional thallium activity was expressed as a percentage of the whole-body radioisotope activity. Comparison of thallium activity between legs was performed at rest and at the work rates of anaerobic threshold and peak exercise during one-leg exercise. Thallium distribution of both legs was essentially the same at rest. At the anaerobic threshold, thallium activity increased about threefold to fourfold in the exercising thigh and about twofold in the exercising calf. The thallium distribution in these muscles at peak exercise was the same as at the anaerobic threshold. In the nonexercising calf, thallium distribution during exercise decreased significantly, and it was unchanged in the nonexercising thigh. Consequently, the ratio of thallium activity between the exercising and nonexercising thighs increased from 1.1 +/- 0.1 to 4.0 +/- 0.9 at the anaerobic threshold and to 3.3 +/- 0.6 at peak exercise. Similarly, the ratio between the exercising and nonexercising calves increased from 1.0 +/- 0.0 to 3.8 +/- 1.3 at the anaerobic threshold and to 3.5 +/- 1.0 at peak exercise. The ratios at peak exercise, however, did not differ significantly from those at the anaerobic threshold.
CONCLUSIONS These findings suggest that the redistribution of blood flow occurs predominantly during mild to moderate exercise; therefore, blood flow in the leg during strenuous exercise would depend primarily upon an increased cardiac output. Thus, the thallium activity ratio of exercising and nonexercising legs reflects the difference in vascular tone of each leg and could provide a noninvasive and quantitative index of blood flow redistribution.
- Copyright © 1992 by American Heart Association