Effects of blood-flow restricted resistance training on mechanical muscle function and thigh lean mass in sIBM patients

Anders N. Jørgensen, Kasper Y. Jensen*, Jakob L. Nielsen, Ulrik Frandsen, Lars G. Hvid, Mette Bjørnshauge, Louise P. Diederichsen, Per Aagaard

*Corresponding author for this work


Sporadic inclusion body myositis (sIBM) is an idiopathic inflammatory muscle disease associated with skeletal muscle inflammation and a parallel progressive decline in muscle strength and physical function. Eventually, most sIBM patients require use of wheelchair after about 10 years of diagnosis and assistance to perform activities of daily living. This study presents data from a randomized controlled intervention trial (NCT02317094) that examined the effect of 12 weeks low-load blood-flow restricted (BFR) resistance training on maximal muscle strength, power, rate of force development (RFD), thigh lean mass (TLM), and voluntary muscle activation (VA) in sIBM patients. A time-by-group interaction in knee extensor strength was observed in the stronger leg (p ≤ 0.033) but not the weaker leg. Within-group changes were observed with BFR training (BFR) manifested by increased knee extensor strength in the strongest leg (+13.7%, p = 0.049), whereas non-exercising patients (CON) showed reduced knee extensor strength (-7.7%, p = 0.018). Maximal leg extensor power obtained for the stronger leg remained unchanged following BFR training (+9.5%, p = 0.37) while decreasing in CON (-11.1%, p = 0.05). No changes in TLM were observed. VA declined post-training (p = 0.037) in both BFR (-6.3% points) and CON (-7.5% points). The present data indicate that BFR resistance training can attenuate the rate of decline in mechanical muscle function typically experienced by sIBM patients. The preservation of muscle mass and mechanical muscle function with BFR resistance training may be considered of high clinical importance in sIBM patients to countermeasure the disease-related decline in physical function.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)359-371
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength
  • Muscle, Skeletal
  • Myositis, Inclusion Body
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Resistance Training
  • Thigh


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