Cardiovascular System

Cardiovascular System

ISSN 2052-4358
Original Research

A cross sectional study of arm venous compliance in fit healthy subjects

Ingeborg M. Leinan1,2, Øystein Grønnevik1, Asbjørn Støylen1,3, Ulrik Wisløff1 and Trine Karlsen1,2*

*Corresponding author: Trine Karlsen

1. K.G. Jebsen Center of Exercise in Medicine at Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.

Author Affiliations

2. St. Olavs University Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.

3. Department of Cardiology, St. Olavs Hospital, Trondheim, Norway.


Purpose: Leg venous compliance decreases with age, but subjects with high fitness show less venous remodelling than unfit subjects. Whether a high fitness level can counteract the normal age-decline in upper arm venous compliance is unknown.

Study aim: First, to examine upper arm venous compliance across age in participants with comparable levels of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). Second, to examine if upper arm venous compliance is related to total blood volume.

Methods: Twenty-eight healthy fit participants within the age groups 20-39 (young: VO2max 3.44 (2.35–5.09) L∙min-1, n=9), 40-59 (middle-aged: VO2max 3.08 (2.17-4.60) L∙min-1, n=9), and 60-69 (old: VO2max 3.27 (2.24–4.04) L∙min-1, n=10) years of age were recruited to the study. Upper arm venous compliance was examined using high-resolution ultrasound and Doppler, while total blood and plasma volume were measured using the optimized carbon monoxide (CO)-rebreathing method.

Results: No difference was found in upper arm venous compliance normalized to blood volume in participants aged 20-69 years (young: 0.22 (-0.02–0.5) mm3∙mmHg-1∙L-1, middle aged: 0.05 (-0.1–0.4) mm3∙mmHg-1∙L-1, old: 0.16 (0.1–0.5) mm3∙mmHg-1∙L-1) with comparable high VO2max levels.

Conclusion: In the studied subjects between 20-70 years old with comparable absolute VO2max, upper arm venous compliance normalized to blood volume seems to be age independent.

Keywords: Veins, age, VO2max, blood volume

ISSN 2052-4358
Volume 3
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