Send to

Choose Destination
J Appl Physiol (1985). 2002 Dec;93(6):1966-72.

Increased vascular resistance in paralyzed legs after spinal cord injury is reversible by training.

Author information

Department of Physiology, University Medical Centre Nijmegen, 6500 HB Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of a spinal cord injury (SCI) on resting vascular resistance in paralyzed legs in humans. To accomplish this goal, we measured blood pressure and resting flow above and below the lesion (by using venous occlusion plethysmography) in 11 patients with SCI and in 10 healthy controls (C). Relative vascular resistance was calculated as mean arterial pressure in millimeters of mercury divided by the arterial blood flow in milliliters per minute per 100 milliliters of tissue. Arterial blood flow in the sympathetically deprived and paralyzed legs of SCI was significantly lower than leg blood flow in C. Because mean arterial pressure showed no differences between both groups, leg vascular resistance in SCI was significantly higher than in C. Within the SCI group, arterial blood flow was significantly higher and vascular resistance significantly lower in the arms than in the legs. To distinguish between the effect of loss of central neural control vs. deconditioning, a group of nine SCI patients was trained for 6 wk and showed a 30% increase in leg blood flow with unchanged blood pressure levels, indicating a marked reduction in vascular resistance. In conclusion, vascular resistance is increased in the paralyzed legs of individuals with SCI and is reversible by training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center