Regional flow responses to exercise

B. Caru, E. Colombo, F. Santoro, A. Laporta, F. Maslowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Both neural and humoral systems participate in the control of blood flow to various organs. Exercise places the greatest demands on the circulation. At rest, in humans, skeletal muscle receives somewhere between 15% and 20% of cardiac output, while during maximal exercise, this percentage reaches a value of 80% to 90%. The active human muscles have a high-flow capacity that exceeds the capacity of the heart to pump blood. Measurements in single human muscle have indicated that blood flow may be inhomogeneous, that is, probably depending on variations of the vasomotor tone of the muscle mediated by humoral and neural factors. Exercise raises cardiac output and coronary blood flow, which rise linearly with increases in heart rate. In normal young men, coronary blood flow averages 280 ml/min/100 g of the left ventricle and reaches as high as 390 ml/min during moderately severe exercise, requiring about 85% of maximal heart rate. In nonexercising organs, the blood flow decreases at about 20% to 40% of the resting values, being the net result of competing vasoconstrictor and vasodilator drives.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5 SUPPL.
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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