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Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2010;23(4):367-75. doi: 10.2478/v10001-010-0037-0.

Changes in blood pressure with compensatory heart rate decrease and in the level of aerobic capacity in response to repeated whole-body cryostimulation in normotensive, young and physically active men.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Szczecin University, Szczecin, Poland.



In Poland and all over the world, whole-body cryostimulation is becoming more and more popular in the treatment of different diseases and in sport. However, changes that occur in the human body subjected to cryogenic temperatures are still not completely understood. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate changes in blood circulation and aerobic capacity induced by repeated exposure to whole-body cryostimulation of young and clinically healthy male subjects.


The study included 25 young men, aged 21 ± 0.9 years, average body weight 74.65 ± 6.98 kg and height 179.5 ± 5.12 cm. The participants were exposed to extremely low temperatures in a cryogenic chamber once a day for 15 days. Each session lasted 3 min at -130°C and was preceded by 30-second, adaptation in a vestibule at -60°C. Blood pressure and heart rate were measured before entering the chamber, immediately after exiting and 10 min later. We also calculated pulse pressure and the mean arterial blood pressure. Before and after the treatment the maximal oxygen uptake was measured.


Our results showed a significant increase in systolic blood pressure after each cryostimulation (by an average of 19 mmHg) and an increase in diastolic blood pressure only after the first cryostimulation (by 6 mm Hg). The increase in systolic blood pressure was accompanied by a significant decrease in heart rate (by about 7 bpm). No adaptation changes were observed after 15 treatments. There were no changes in aerobic capacity after 15 sessions of WBC, however we observed a significant decrease in RBC and hemoglobin concentration.


Due to the increase in systolic blood pressure after WBC, this kind of physiotherapy treatment is not recommended for people with advanced or not pharmacologically controlled hypertension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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