Immediate and 24-h blood pressure-lowering effects of arm crank exercise in patients with traumatic lower-limb amputation: a randomized cross-over study

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This study aimed to investigate the clinic and 24-h postexercise hypotension (PEH) after a moderate-intensity arm crank exercise session in individuals with traumatic lower-limb amputation.

Participants and methods

Nine men (46±17 years) with unilateral traumatic lower-limb amputation participated in two experimental sessions conducted randomly: an aerobic exercise (EXE: arm crank ergometer, 30 min) or a control session (CON: participants remained seated on the cycle ergometer, 30 min). Clinic and 24-h systolic, diastolic, and mean blood pressure (BP) response were measured after both sessions. The clinical measurements of blood flow and forearm vascular resistance (FVR) were also performed.


Compared with the preintervention period, the BP levels did not change in the CON session. However, EXE resulted in a significant hypotensive effect in systolic (−10±0.9 mmHg, P≤0.05), diastolic (−11±1.5 mmHg, P≤0.05), and mean BP (−11±1.2 mmHg, P≤0.05) during the entire postexercise period. The PEH was accompanied by a decreased FVR over the entire postintervention period (P≤0.05). Significant reductions were found for 24-h average systolic, diastolic, and mean BP levels (P=0.03, 0.01, and 0.02, respectively) following EXE compared with the CON session.


These results showed, for the first time, that individuals with traumatic lower-limb amputation presented immediate and 24-h PEH after a single bout of arm crank exercise testing. The PEH at the clinic condition was justified, at least in part, by the reduction in peripheral FVR.

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