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P3.4 Functional Changes in the Carotid Artery Associated with an Acute Bout of Resistance Exercise



Despite the popularity of strength training, few studies have examined the impact of an acute bout of resistance exercise upon functional characteristics of the carotid arterial wall.


Two-dimensional short-axis images of the common carotid artery (CCA) were collected in fifteen healthy males (age: 21 ± 3 years; height: 176.5 ± 6.2 cm; mass; 80.6 ± 15.3 kg; leg-press 1RM: 317 ± 72 kg) before, during, and immediately after (7–12 seconds) an isometric hold of the double-leg press exercise at 30% and 60% of one repetition maximum (1RM) and analysed for peak circumferential strain (PCS), systolic and diastolic strain rate (S-SR and D-SR, respectively). Additionally, beat-by-beat blood pressure was measured throughout.


No differences were revealed between 30% and 60% 1RM. During exercise, systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP respectively) increased significantly from baseline (p<0.01). Immediately post, SBP returned to baseline levels whereas DBP fell significantly below baseline (p<0.01) In contrast, PCS and S-SR both decreased significantly from baseline during resistance exercise (p<0.01) and were significantly greater than baseline levels during recovery. D-SR did not change throughout (p = 0.252).


Resistance exercise causes an acute decrease in the relative expansion and lengthening velocity of the carotid arterial wall during effort, independently of exercise intensity. During recovery, PCS and S-SR of the CCA wall are increased compared with baseline, suggesting that the acute stress of resistance exercise has lasting effects on arterial function. This may be an important mechanism for the adaptation of arterial function to resistance exercise.

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Black, J., Stone, K., Stembridge, M. et al. P3.4 Functional Changes in the Carotid Artery Associated with an Acute Bout of Resistance Exercise. Artery Res 8, 137 (2014).

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