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    Cuff inflation time significantly affects blood flow recorded with venous occlusion plethysmography

    Junejo, RT, Ray, CJ and Marshall, JM (2019) Cuff inflation time significantly affects blood flow recorded with venous occlusion plethysmography. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 119 (3). pp. 665-674. ISSN 1439-6319

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    © 2019, The Author(s). Purpose: We tested whether the values of limb blood flow calculated with strain-gauge venous occlusion plethysmography (VOP) differ when venous occlusion is achieved by automated, or manual inflation, so providing rapid and slower inflation, respectively. Method: In 9 subjects (20–30 years), we calculated forearm blood flows (FBF) values at rest and following isometric handgrip at 70% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) when rapid, or slower inflation was used. Result: Rapid and slower cuff inflation took 0.23 ± 0.01 (mean ± SEM) and 0.92 ± 0.02 s, respectively, reflecting the range reported in published studies. At rest, FBF calculated from the 1st cardiac cycle after rapid and slower inflation gave similar values: 10.5 ± 1.4 vs. 9.6 ± 1.3 ml dl − 1  min − 1 , respectively (P > 0.05). However, immediately post-contraction, FBF was ~ 40% lower with slower inflation: 54.6 ± 5.1 vs. 33.8 ± 4.2 ml dl − 1  min − 1 (P < 0.01). The latter value was similar to that calculated over the 3rd cardiac cycle following rapid inflation: 2nd cardiac cycle: 40.5 ± 4.5; 3rd cycle: 32.6 ± 4.5 ml dl − 1  min − 1 . Regression analyses of FBFs recorded at intervals post-contraction showed those calculated over the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd cardiac cycles with rapid inflation correlated well with those from the 1st cardiac cycle with manual inflation (r = 0.79, 0.82, 0.79; P < 0.01). However, only the slope for the 3rd cycle with rapid inflation vs. slower inflation was close to unity (2.07, 1.34, and 0.94, respectively). Conclusion: These findings confirm that the 1st cardiac cycle following venous occlusion should be used when calculating FBF using VOP and, but importantly, indicate that cuff inflation should be almost instantaneous; just ≥ 0.9 s leads to substantial underestimation, especially at high flows.

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