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Physiol Rep. 2016 Aug;4(16). pii: e12903. doi: 10.14814/phy2.12903.

Comparison of regional skeletal muscle tissue oxygenation in college athletes and sedentary control subjects using quantitative BOLD MR imaging.

Author information

1
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut mitchel.stacy@yale.edu.
2
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
3
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
4
Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut Department of Neurosurgery, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.
5
Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut Department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

Blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) magnetic resonance (MR) imaging permits noninvasive assessment of tissue oxygenation. We hypothesized that BOLD imaging would allow for regional evaluation of differences in skeletal muscle oxygenation between athletes and sedentary control subjects, and dynamic BOLD responses to ischemia (i.e., proximal cuff occlusion) and reactive hyperemia (i.e., rapid cuff deflation) would relate to lower extremity function, as assessed by jumping ability. College football athletes (linemen, defensive backs/wide receivers) were compared to sedentary healthy controls. BOLD signal of the gastrocnemius, soleus, anterior tibialis, and peroneus longus was assessed for peak hyperemic value (PHV), time to peak (TTP), minimum ischemic value (MIV), and time to recovery (TTR). Significantly higher PHVs were identified in athletes versus controls for the gastrocnemius (linemen, 15.8 ± 9.1%; defensive backs/wide receivers, 17.9 ± 5.1%; controls, 7.4 ± 3.5%), soleus (linemen, 25.9 ± 11.5%; backs/receivers, 22.0 ± 9.4%; controls, 12.9 ± 5.8%), and anterior tibialis (linemen, 12.8 ± 5.3%; backs/receivers, 12.6 ± 3.9%; controls, 7.7 ± 4.0%), whereas no differences in PHV were found for the peroneus longus (linemen, 14.1 ± 6.9%; backs/receivers, 11.7 ± 4.6%; controls, 9.0 ± 4.9%). In all subject groups, the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles exhibited the lowest MIVs during cuff occlusion. No differences in TTR were found between muscles for any subject group. PHV of the gastrocnemius muscle was significantly and positively related to maximal vertical (r = 0.56, P = 0.002) and broad jump (r = 0.47, P = 0.01). These results suggest that BOLD MR imaging is a useful noninvasive tool for evaluating differences in tissue oxygenation of specific muscles between active and sedentary individuals, and peak BOLD responses may relate to functional capacity.

KEYWORDS:

Blood oxygen level dependent; exercise training; magnetic resonance imaging; tissue oxygenation; vascular function

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