Introduction Vasodilator function is impaired in individuals with well-healed burn injuries; however, therapeutic interventions that lessen or reverse this maladaptation are lacking. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that a 6-month community-based exercise training program would increase microvascular dilator function in individuals with well-healed burn injuries, irrespective of the magnitude of the injured body surface area. Further, we hypothesize that macrovascular dilator function would remain unchanged posttraining. Methods Microvascular function (forearm reactive hyperemia), macrovascular function (brachial artery flow-mediated dilation), and the maximal vasodilatory response after ischemic handgrip exercise (an estimate of microvascular remodeling) were assessed before and after exercise training in nonburned control subjects (n = 11) and individuals with burn injuries covering a moderate body surface area (26% ± 7%; n = 13) and a high body surface area (59% ± 15%; n = 19). Results Peak vascular conductance and area under the curve during postocclusive reactive hyperemia increased from pretraining to posttraining in control and burn injury groups (both P < 0.05), the magnitude of which did not differ between groups (both P = 0.6). Likewise, the maximal vasodilatory response after ischemic handgrip exercise increased in all groups after exercise training (P < 0.05). Macrovascular dilator function did not differ across time or between groups (P = 0.8). Conclusions These data suggest that a community-based exercise training program improves microvascular function in individuals with well-healed burn injuries, which may be due in part to vascular remodeling.
- FLOW-MEDIATED DILATION
- ISCHEMIC HANDGRIP EXERCISE
- REACTIVE HYPEREMIA
- VASCULAR CONDUCTANCE
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation