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Developing an exercise model that resembles a traditional form of aerobic exercise and facilitates a complete simultaneous assessment of multiple parameters within the oxygen cascade is critically for understanding exercise intolerances in diseased populations. Measurement of muscle blood flow is a crucial component of such a model and previous studies have used invasive procedures to determine blood flow kinetics; however, this may not be appropriate in certain populations. Furthermore, current models utilizing Doppler ultrasound use isolated limb exercise and while these studies have provided useful data, the exercise model does not mimic the whole-body physiological response to continuous dynamic exercise. Therefore, we aimed to measure common femoral artery blood flow using Doppler ultrasound during continuous dynamic stepping exercise performed at three independent workloads to assess the within day and between-day reliability for such an exercise modality. We report a within-session coefficient of variation of 5.8% from three combined workloads and a between-day coefficient of variation of 12.7%. These values demonstrate acceptable measurement accuracy and support our intention of utilizing this noninvasive exercise model for an integrative assessment of the whole-body physiological response to exercise in a range of populations.


  • Doppler ultrasound, muscle blood flow, reliability, whole-body exercise
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere15051
JournalPhysiological Reports
Issue number19
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2021

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