Spatial interaction between tissue pressure and skeletal muscle perfusion during contraction.

C.C. van Donkelaar*, J.M. Huyghe, W.J. Vankan, W.A. Bemelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


J Biomech 2001 May;34(5):631-7 Related Articles, Books, LinkOut

Spatial interaction between tissue pressure and skeletal muscle perfusion during contraction.

van Donkelaar CC, Huyghe JM, Vankan WJ, Drost MR.

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

The vascular waterfall theory attributes decreased muscle perfusion during contraction to increased intramuscular pressure (P(IM)) and concomitant increase in venous resistance. Although P(IM) is distributed during contractions, this theory does not account for heterogeneity. This study hypothesises that pressure heterogeneity could affect the interaction between P(IM) rise and perfusion. Regional tissue perfusion during submaximum (100kPa) tetanic contraction is studied, using a finite element model of perfused contracting skeletal muscle. Capillary flow in muscles with one proximal artery and vein (SIM(1)) and with an additional distal artery and vein (SIM(2)) is compared. Blood flow and pressures at rest and P(IM) during contraction ( approximately 25kPa maximally) are similar between simulations, but capillary flow and venous pressure differ. In SIM(2), venous pressure and capillary flow correspond to P(IM) distribution, whereas capillary flow in SIM(1) is less than 10% of flow in SIM(2), in the muscle half without draining vein. This difference is caused by a high central P(IM), followed by central venous pressure rise, in agreement with the waterfall theory. The high central pressure (SIM(1)), obstructs outflow from the distal veins. Distal venous pressure rises until central blood pressure is reached, although local P(IM) is low. Adding a distal vein (SIM(2)) restores the perfusion. It is concluded that regional effects contribute to the interaction between P(IM) and perfusion during contraction. Unlike stated by the vascular waterfall theory, venous pressure may locally exceed P(IM). Although this can be explained by the principles of this theory, the theory does not include this phenomenon as such.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-637
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biochemistry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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