Document Type




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American Physiological Society

Source Publication

Journal of Applied Physiology

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Many stroke survivors have reduced cardiorespiratory fitness as a result of their stroke. Ischemic conditioning (IC) is a noninvasive, cost-effective, easy-to-administer intervention that can be performed at home and has been shown to improve both motor function in stroke survivors and vascular endothelial function in healthy individuals. In this study, we examined the effects of 2 wk of remote IC (RIC) on brachial artery flow mediated dilation (FMD) in chronic stroke survivors. We hypothesized that FMD would be improved following RIC compared with a sham RIC control group. This was a prospective, randomized, double-blinded, controlled study. Twenty-four chronic stroke survivors (>6 mo after stroke) were enrolled and randomized to receive either RIC or sham RIC on their affected thigh every other day for 2 wk. For the RIC group, a blood pressure cuff was inflated to 225 mmHg for 5 min, followed by 5 min of recovery, and repeated a total of five times per session. For the sham RIC group, the inflation pressure was 10 mmHg. Brachial artery FMD was assessed on the nonaffected arm at study enrollment and following the 2-wk intervention period. Nine men and fourteen women completed all study procedures. Brachial artery FMD increased from 5.4 ± 4.8 to 7.8 ± 4.4% (P = 0.030; n = 12) in the RIC group, while no significant change was observed in the sham RIC group (3.5 ± 3.9% pretreatment versus 2.4 ± 3.1% posttreatment; P = 0.281, n = 11). Two weeks of RIC increases brachial artery FMD in chronic stroke survivors.


Accepted version. Journal of Applied Physiology, Vol. 129, No. 6 (2020): 1348-1354. DOI. © 2020 American Physiological Society. Used with permission.

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