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Bispebjerg Hospital - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Exercise-induced fluid shifts are distinct to exercise mode and intensity: a comparison of blood flow-restricted and free-flow resistance exercise

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  2. Physiological responses of human skeletal muscle to acute blood flow restricted exercise assessed by multimodal MRI

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MRI can provide fundamental tools in decoding physiological stressors stimulated by training paradigms. Acute physiological changes induced by three diverse exercise protocols known to elicit similar levels of muscle hypertrophy were evaluated using muscle functional magnetic resonance imaging (mfMRI). The study was a cross-over study with participants (n = 10) performing three acute unilateral knee extensor exercise protocols to failure and a work matched control exercise protocol. Participants were scanned after each exercise protocol; 70% 1 repetition maximum (RM) (FF70); 20% 1RM (FF20); 20% 1RM with blood flow restriction (BFR20); free-flow (FF) control work matched to BFR20 (FF20WM). Post exercise mfMRI scans were used to obtain interleaved measures of muscle R2 (indicator of edema), R2' (indicator of deoxyhemoglobin), muscle cross sectional area (CSA) blood flow, and diffusion. Both BFR20 and FF20 exercise resulted in a larger acute decrease in R2, decrease in R2', and expansion of the extracellular compartment with slower rates of recovery. BFR20 caused greater acute increases in muscle CSA than FF20WM and FF70. Only BFR20 caused acute increases in intracellular volume. Postexercise muscle blood flow was higher after FF70 and FF20 exercise than BFR20. Acute changes in mean diffusivity were similar across all exercise protocols. This study was able to differentiate the acute physiological responses between anabolic exercise protocols. Low-load exercise protocols, known to have relatively higher energy contributions from glycolysis at task failure, elicited a higher mfMRI response. Noninvasive mfMRI represents a promising tool for decoding mechanisms of anabolic adaptation in muscle.NEW & NOTEWORTHY Using muscle functional MRI (mfMRI), this study was able to differentiate the acute physiological responses following three established hypertrophic resistance exercise strategies. Low-load exercise protocols performed to failure, with or without blood flow restriction, resulted in larger changes in R2 (i.e. greater T2-shifts) with a slow rate of return to baseline indicative of myocellular fluid shifts. These data were cross evaluated with interleaved measures of macrovascular blood flow, water diffusion, muscle cross sectional area (i.e. acute macroscopic muscle swelling), and intracellular water fraction measured using MRI.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Volume130
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1822-1835
Number of pages14
ISSN0161-7567
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021

    Research areas

  • Cross-Over Studies, Fluid Shifts, Humans, Muscle Strength, Muscle, Skeletal, Regional Blood Flow, Resistance Training

ID: 74076707