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Clin Physiol Funct Imaging. 2013 Mar;33(2):92-100. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097X.2012.01166.x. Epub 2012 Sep 20.

Vascular adaptations induced by 6 weeks WBV resistance exercise training.

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1
Department of Space Physiology, German Aerospace Center, Institute of Aerospace Medicine, Cologne, Germany. tobias.weber@dlr.de

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The impact of whole-body vibration (WBV) upon the cardiovascular system is receiving increasing attention. Despite numerous studies addressing the acute cardiovascular effects of WBV training, very little is known regarding long-term adaptations in healthy humans.

METHODS:

A 6-week training study, with a 70 days follow-up was designed to compare resistive exercise with or without super-imposed whole-body vibrations. Arterial diameter, intima media thickness and flow-mediated dilation (FMD) were assessed by ultrasonography in the superficial femoral artery (SFA), the brachial (BA) and the carotid arteries (CA).

RESULTS:

SFA resting diameter was increased from 6·22 mm (SD = 0·69 mm) at baseline to 6·52 mm (SD = 0·74 mm) at the end of the training period (P = 0·03) with no difference between groups (P = 0·48). Arterial wall thickness was significantly reduced by 4·3% (SD = 11%) in the CA only (P = 0·04). FMD was not affected by any of the interventions and in any of the investigated arteries.

CONCLUSION:

To the best of our knowledge, this has been the first study to show that the superposition of vibration upon conventional resistance exercise does not have a specific effect upon long-term vascular adaptation in asymptomatic humans. Our findings seem to be at variance with the findings observed in a bed-rest setting. One possible explanation could be that the independently saturable effects of flow-mediated versus acceleration-related endothelial shear stresses on arterial structure and function differ between ambulatory and bed-rest conditions.

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