Title page for ETD etd-10232009-125139

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Blalock, Paul Joseph
Author's Email Address pblalo1@lsu.edu
URN etd-10232009-125139
Title Comparison of Brachial Artery Vasoreactivity in Elite Athletes and Age-Matched Controls
Degree Master of Science (M.S.)
Department Kinesiology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Welsch, Michael A. Committee Chair
Landin, Dennis K. Committee Member
Nelson, Arnold G. Committee Member
  • vasoreactivity
  • strength athletes
Date of Defense 2009-07-30
Availability unrestricted
The ability to distribute blood from areas with low demand to areas with high demand, such as occurs during exercise, is a critical function of the circulatory system. PURPOSE: To compare the resting diameter and vasoreactivity of the brachial artery in elite strength athletes to those of age-matched controls. We hypothesized that the brachial arteries of strength athletes would have larger diameters at rest, and show greater vasoreactivity in response to cuff occlusion and a cold pressor test than in untrained individuals. METHODS: Eight elite strength athletes (age, 23 2 years) and ten age-matched controls (age, 22 1 years) were studied. Using high-resolution ultrasonography, brachial diameter was assessed at rest and following 5 minutes of forearm occlusion (BAFMD) and a cold pressor test. RESULTS: The average resting brachial diameters of strength athletes (5.39 mm 1.51) was significantly larger than the diameters of the control group (3.73 mm 0.71). On average, strength athletes showed significantly greater vasodilation (BAFMD % Δ athletes, 8.21% 1.78; controls 5.69% 1.56) in response to cuff release and significantly greater vasoconstriction (CPT % Δ athletes, -2.95 1.07; controls -1.20 0.48) in response to the cold pressor test. The combined effect of vasodilation and vasoconstriction indicates a greater physiologic vascular operating range in the athletes (0.55 mm) compared to the controls (0.25 mm). CONCLUSIONS: This study reports significant differences in vascular responses to vasodilatory and constrictor stimuli of elite strength athletes and age-matched controls. These differential responses in the elite athletes suggest a well-adapted vasculature defined by a wide vascular operating range.

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