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Ind Health. 2013;51(6):572-80. Epub 2013 Sep 27.

The effects of impact vibration on peripheral blood vessels and nerves.

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  • 1Engineering and Controls Technology Branch, National Institutes for Occupational Safety and Health, USA.


Research regarding the risk of developing hand-arm vibration syndrome after exposure to impact vibration has produced conflicting results. This study used an established animal model of vibration-induced dysfunction to determine how exposure to impact vibration affects peripheral blood vessels and nerves. The tails of male rats were exposed to a single bout of impact vibration (15 min exposure, at a dominant frequency of 30 Hz and an unweighted acceleration of approximately 345 m/s(2)) generated by a riveting hammer. Responsiveness of the ventral tail artery to adrenoreceptor-mediated vasoconstriction and acetylcholine-mediated re-dilation was measured ex vivo. Ventral tail nerves and nerve endings in the skin were assessed using morphological and immunohistochemical techniques. Impact vibration did not alter vascular responsiveness to any factors or affect trunk nerves. However, 4 days following exposure there was an increase in protein-gene product (PGP) 9.5 staining around hair follicles. A single exposure to impact vibration, with the exposure characteristics described above, affects peripheral nerves but not blood vessels.

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