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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 893468, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/893468
Clinical Study

Improvement in Hemodynamic Responses to Metaboreflex Activation after One Year of Training in Spinal Cord Injured Humans

1Sports Physiology Laboratory, Department of Medical Sciences, University of Cagliari, Via Porcell 4, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
2Unit of Cardiology and Angiology, Department of Medical Sciences, AOU University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy

Received 7 October 2013; Accepted 26 February 2014; Published 7 April 2014

Academic Editor: Massimo F. Piepoli

Copyright © 2014 Raffaele Milia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Spinal cord injured (SCI) individuals show an altered hemodynamic response to metaboreflex activation due to a reduced capacity to vasoconstrict the venous and arterial vessels below the level of the lesion. Exercise training was found to enhance circulating catecholamines and to improve cardiac preload and venous tone in response to exercise in SCI subjects. Therefore, training would result in enhanced diastolic function and capacity to vasoconstrict circulation. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that one year of training improves hemodynamic response to metaboreflex activation in these subjects. Nine SCI individuals were enrolled and underwent a metaboreflex activation test at the beginning of the study (T0) and after one year of training (T1). Hemodynamics were assessed by impedance cardiography and echocardiography at both T0 and T1. Results show that there was an increment in cardiac output response due to metaboreflex activity at T1 as compared to T0 ( mL·min−1 versus  mL·min−1, ). Moreover, ventricular filling rate response was higher at T1 than at T0. Similarly, end-diastolic volume response was increased after training. We concluded that a period of training can successfully improve hemodynamic response to muscle metaboreflex activation in SCI subjects.