Int J Sports Med 2012; 33(10): 835-841
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1306281
Clinical Sciences
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Impaired Endothelial Function and Blood Flow in Repetitive Strain Injury

J. J. Brunnekreef*
1  Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
2  Department of Physical Therapy, HAN University of Applied Science, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
,
N.M. M. Benda*
1  Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
,
T.H. A. Schreuder
1  Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
,
M.T. E. Hopman
1  Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
,
D.H. J. Thijssen
1  Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
3  Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Science, John Moores University, Liverpool, United Kingdom
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Publikationsverlauf



accepted after revision 06. Februar 2012

Publikationsdatum:
16. Mai 2012 (online)

Abstract

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is a disabling upper extremity overuse injury that may be associated with pathophysiological changes in the vasculature. In this study we investigated whether RSI is associated with endothelial dysfunction and impaired exercise-induced blood flow in the affected forearm. 10 patients with RSI (age, 40.2±10.3; BMI, 23.8±3.3) and 10 gender- and age-matched control subjects (age, 38.0±12.4; BMI, 22.7±3.4) participated in this study. Brachial artery blood flow was measured at rest and during 3-min periods of isometric handgrip exercise at 15%, 30% and 45% of the individual maximal voluntary contraction. Brachial artery endothelial function was assessed as the flow mediated dilation (FMD), by measuring brachial artery diameter and velocity before and after 5-min ischemic occlusion. We found a lower exercise-induced brachial artery blood flow in patients with RSI than in controls (p=0.04). Brachial artery FMD was significantly lower in patients with RSI than in controls (p<0.01), whilst a lower FMD was also found in patient with unilateral RSI when comparing the affected arm with the non-affected arm (p=0.04). Our results suggest that patients with RSI have an attenuated exercise-induced blood flow and an impaired endothelial function in the affected arm. These findings importantly improve our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanism of RSI.

* These authors contributed equally.