Impaired forearm oxygen consumption during static exercise in patients with congestive heart failure

J. Longhurst, W. Gifford, R. Zelis

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46 Scopus citations


In this study, the effects of forearm static exercise were determined on local blood flow and oxygen consumption in 15 normal individuals (NL) and their responses were compared with ten patients in congestive heart failure (CHF). Forearm blood flow was determined by a plethysmographic technique before and during 15% of maximum voluntary contraction of the forearm. Regional arterial and venous oxygen contents were sampled and forearm oxygen consumption calculated by the Fick principle. At rest, forearm blood flow was less in patients with heart failure than in normal individuals; however, this was compensated for by an increased oxygen extraction, thus maintaining forearm oxygen consumption at a normal level. In contrast, during static exercise, forearm blood flow failed to rise normally with heart failure (NL 9.31; CHF 4.35 ml/min/100 ml, P<0.001) and the increased oxygen extraction was not sufficient to maintain a normal forearm oxygen consumption (NL .82; CHF .44 ml/min/100 ml, P<0.01). Therefore, patients with congestive heart failure demonstrate regional circulatory and metabolic abnormalities during static exercise that are comparable to those present during dynamic exercise. Because of a limited ability of their skeletal muscle resistance vessels to respond to dilator stimuli, they have an attenuation of their exercise hyperemia which leads to an earlier shift to anaerobic metabolism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-480
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1976

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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