Other Subject Area



International Journal of Exercise Science 15(2): 1616-1626, 2022. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a non-invasive technique that measures tissue perfusion using red blood cells oxygen saturation and venous occlusion plethysmography (VOP) is the gold standard to assess microvascular blood flow and function. The purpose of this study was to determine if NIRS can surrogate the microvascular blood flow assessment after an ischemic challenge obtained via VOP. Twenty apparently healthy subjects (10 males and 10 females), aged 18 to 35 years, were recruited for this single session study. NIRS probes were placed 40mm apart along the epicondylar muscles on the right forearm and on the tibialis anterior on the right lower leg, while VOP strain gauges were placed on the largest circumference on both right forearm and calf. Blood flow via VOP and NIRS variables (hemoglobin saturation (SO2), oxygenated hemoglobin (HbO2), and deoxyhemoglobin (HHb) slopes) were assessed before and after 5-min ischemic challenge. Person’s correlations and intra-class correlations (ICC2k) were conducted for each of the NIRS variables vs VOP. There were moderate associations between of SO2 and HbO2 slopes and VOP (r = 0.59, p < 0.01 and r = 0.53, p < 0.05, respectively) at the lower body during resting conditions. There was a poor agreement between NIRS SO2 and VOP at the resting condition in the lower body (ICC2k = 0.45). There were no other associations between any of the other NIRS variables and VOP of the lower and upper body at resting or post-ischemic conditions. In conclusion, NIRS cannot surrogate VOP for measurements of microvascular blood flow at resting or post-ischemic conditions.