Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


Increased arterial wall thickness has been positively related to cardiovascular disease. Exercise has been found to favorably alter arterial anatomy in the trained limbs, but its effects on untrained limbs and the carotid artery are unclear. Thus, brachial (non-trained limb), popliteal (trained limb) and carotid, wall thickness (WT), wall to lumen diameter ratios (W:L), intima-media thickness (IMT) and lumen diameters (LD) were compared between recreationally active (n=14) and untrained (n=11) subjects before and after, the active subjects participated in 12 weeks of marathon run training. Arterial dimensions were measured with B-mode ultrasonography. Pre and post-training VO2max and running speed at 3.5mmol lactate were measured in the marathon training group; VO2max was unaltered, but running speed increased from 7.8 ± 0.7mph to 8.2 ± 0.9 mph (p=.008). Time by group interactions were observed for the brachial and popliteal measures (p<0.05), but not in the carotid, and no differences were observed in the control group. Prior to the intervention the marathon training group had significantly larger LD in the brachial (p=.002) and popliteal arteries (p=.007) than the control group; no other pre-training differences were found. Following training, WT was reduced in the brachial (pre = .99 ± .16mm; post = .84 ± .10mm; p=.007) and popliteal (pre = .96 ± .09mm; post = .86 ± .11mm; p=.005) arteries, and was characterized, in part, by a 0.07mm decrease in brachial IMT (p=.032) and a non-significant 0.03mm reduction in popliteal IMT. LD increased in the brachial (pre = 3.38 ± .35mm; post = 3.57 ± .41mm; p=.015) and popliteal (pre = 4.73 ± .48mm; post = 5.11 ± .72mm; p=.002) arteries. These data suggest that arteries in the trained and non-trained limbs are favorably altered by regular exercise and that the alterations may be exercise dose dependent.

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