Conduit artery diameter during exercise is enhanced after local, but not remote, ischemic preconditioning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Scott Cocking
  • Mathew G. Wilson
  • Daniel J. Green
  • Dick H.J. Thijssen
  • Helen Jones

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Department of Sports Science
  • Aspire Academy
  • The University of Western Australia
  • Radboud University


Introduction: The ability of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) to enhance exercise capacity may be mediated through altering exercise-induced blood flow and/or vascular function. This study investigated the hypothesis that (local) IPC enhances exercise-induced blood flow responses and prevents decreases in vascular function following exercise. Methods: Eighteen healthy, recreationally trained, male participants (mean ±SD: age 32 ± 8 years; BMI 24.2 ± 2.3; blood pressure 122 ± 10/72 ± 8 mmHg; resting HR 58 ± 9 beats min-1) received IPC (220 mmHg; 4 × 5-min bilateral arms), REMOTE IPC (220 mmHg; 4 × 5-min bilateral legs), or SHAM (20 mmHg; 4 × 5-min bilateral arms) in a counterbalanced order prior to 30-min of submaximal (25% maximal voluntary contraction) unilateral rhythmic handgrip exercise. Brachial artery diameter and blood flow were assessed every 5-min throughout the 30-min submaximal exercise using high resolution ultrasonography. Pre- and post-exercise vascular function was measured using flow-mediated dilation (FMD). Results: IPC resulted in enlarged brachial artery diameter during exercise [0.016 cm (0.003-0.03 cm), P = 0.015] compared to REMOTE IPC, but blood flow during exercise was similar between conditions (P > 0.05). Blood flow (l/min) increased throughout exercise (time: P < 0.005), but there was no main effect of condition (P = 0.29) or condition * time interaction (P = 0.83). Post-exercise FMD was similar between conditions (P > 0.05). Conclusion: Our data show that local (but not remote) IPC, performed as a strategy prior to exercise, enhanced exercise-induced conduit artery diameter dilation, but these changes do not translate into increased blood flow during exercise nor impact post-exercise vascular function.

Bibliographic note

Cocking S, Cable NT, Wilson MG, Green DJ, Thijssen DHJ and Jones H (2018) Conduit Artery Diameter During Exercise Is Enhanced After Local, but Not Remote, Ischemic Preconditioning. Front. Physiol. 9:435. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00435


Original languageEnglish
Article number435
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2018


  • Blood flow, Cardiovascular, Endothelial function, Handgrip exercise, Ischemic preconditioning

ASJC Scopus subject areas