Effects of exercise rehabilitation on endothelial reactivity in older patients with peripheral arterial disease

David C. Brendle, Lyndon J.O. Joseph, Mary C. Corretti, Andrew W. Gardner, Leslie I. Katzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

137 Scopus citations


Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Endothelial function, which is a measure of vascular health, is impaired in patients with PAD. We examined the effects of 6 months of aerobic exercise rehabilitation on brachial artery endothelial function, assessed using high-frequency ultrasonography, and calf blood flow in 19 older PAD patients (age 69 ± 1 years, mean ± SEM) with intermittent claudication (ankle to brachial artery index of 0.73 ± 0.04). After exercise, the time to onset of claudication pain increased by 94%, from 271 ± 49 to 525 ± 80 seconds (p <0.01), and the time to maximal claudication pain increased by 43%, from 623 ± 77 to 889 ± 75 seconds (p <0.05). Exercise rehabilitation increased the flow-mediated brachial arterial diameter by 61%, from 0.18 ± 0.03 to 0.29 ± 0.04 mm (p <0.005), as well as the relative change in brachial arterial diameter from the resting state by 60%, from 4.81 ± 0.82% to 7.97 ± 1.03% (p <0.005). Maximal calf blood flow (14.2 ± 1.0 vs 19.2 ± 2.0 ml/100 ml/min; p = 0.04), and postocclusive reactive hyperemic blood flow (9.8 ± 0.8 vs 11.3 ± 0.7 ml/100 ml/min; p = 0.1) increased 35% and 15%, respectively. In conclusion, exercise rehabilitation improved ambulatory function, endothelial-dependent dilation, and calf blood flow in older PAD patients with intermittent claudication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)324-329
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Cardiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 1 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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