Purpose: Investigate the effects of acute high-intensity exercise on common carotid artery (CCA) dimensions, stiffness, and wave intensity.
Methods: Fifty-five healthy men and women (22 ± 5 year; 24.5 ± 2.7 kg m<sup>−2</sup>) underwent 30 s of high-intensity cycling (HIC; Wingate anaerobic test). CCA diameter, stiffness [β-stiffness, Elastic Modulus (E<sub>p</sub>)], pulsatility index (PI), forward wave intensities [due to LV contraction (W<sub>1</sub>) and LV suction (W<sub>2</sub>)], and reflected wave intensity [negative area (NA)] were assessed using a combination of Doppler ultrasound, wave intensity analysis, and applanation tonometry at baseline and immediately post-HIC.
Results: CCA β-stiffness, E<sub>p</sub>, PI and pulse pressure increased significantly immediately post-HIC (p < 0.05). CCA diameter decreased acutely post-HIC (p < 0.05). There were also significant increases in W<sub>1</sub> and NA and a significant decrease in W<sub>2</sub> (p < 0.05). A significant correlation was found between change in W<sub>1</sub> and PI (r = 0.438, p < 0.05), from rest to recovery as well as a significant inverse correlation between W<sub>2</sub> and PI (r = −0.378, p < 0.05). Change in PI was not associated with change in CCA stiffness or NA (p > 0.05).
Conclusions: Acute HIC results in CCA constriction and increases in CCA stiffness along with increases in hemodynamic pulsatility. The increase in pulsatility may be due to a combination of increased forward wave intensity from increased LV contractility into a smaller vessel (i.e. impaired matching of diameter and flow) coupled with reduced LV suction.
- Arterial stiffness
- Hemodynamic pulsatility
- Wave intensity analysis
- Wave reflection
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Physiology (medical)