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Int J Sports Med. 2012 Oct;33(10):835-41. Epub 2012 May 16.

Impaired endothelial function and blood flow in repetitive strain injury.

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Department of Physiology, Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.

Erratum in

  • Int J Sports Med. 2012 Oct;33(10):841. Brunnekreef, J J [corrected to Brunnekreef, J]; Benda, N M M [corrected to Benda, N]; Schreuder, T H A [corrected to Schreuder, T]; Hopman, M T E [corrected to Hopman, M]; Thijssen, D H J [corrected to Thijssen, D].


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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