Purpose: Impaired leg arterial stiffness (pulse wave velocity, PWV) and vasodilatory function are found after stroke. Acute passive vibration (PV) decreases leg PWV (legPWV) and pressure wave reflection (aortic augmentation index, aAIx) in healthy men. Our objective was to evaluate the effects of acute PV on aAIx and PWV in the paretic and non-paretic sides in stroke survivors. Methods: Eleven stroke survivors (4 females) were randomized to either no-PV (control) or PV (25 Hz and 2 mm amplitude) trials on two separated visits. Following 20 min of supine rest with legs on a vibration platform, blood pressure, PWV, and aAIx were gathered before 10 continuous minutes of control or PV. Measurements were repeated at post-5, post-15, and post-30 min after control or PV. Results: LegPWV and brachial-ankle PWV (baPWV, systemic stiffness) in paretic and non-paretic sides along with aAIx were significantly (P < 0.05) decreased from baseline at post-5 min after PV compared with control. At post-15 min, paretic and non-paretic legPWV remained significantly lower than baseline, but only non-paretic legPWV was different from control. We noted correlations between changes in paretic legPWV and changes in paretic baPWV (r = 0.47, P = 0.028) and aAIx (r = 0.51, P = 0.017) at post-5 min. Conclusions: Acute PV applied to the legs of stroke survivors reduces systemic arterial stiffness and aortic wave reflection due to a reduction in leg arterial stiffness, which last longer in the non-paretic than in the paretic leg.
- Aortic augmentation index
- Pulse wave velocity