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Blood flow restriction (BFR) may become ineffective or potentially dangerous without sufficient standardization. The purpose of this investigation was therefore to (1) assess the viability of multiple sizes of a novel BFR cuff to determine arterial occlusion pressure (AOP) and (2) compare resting arterial, venous and calf muscle pump (cMP)-mediated blood flow between the aforementioned conditions and a commonly employed wide-rigid, tourniquet-style cuff. In randomized, counter-balanced, and crossover fashion, 20 apparently healthy males (18–40 years) donned a widely employed wide-rigid (WR) cuff, along with the largest (NE) and manufacturer-recommended sizes (NER) of a novel narrow-elastic cuff. Participants subsequently assessed AOP, as well as (at 80%AOP) arterial, venous, and venous cMP flow relative to baseline values via ultrasound. All analyses were performed at a significance level of p < 0.05. Analyses revealed a significant condition effect for AOP (p < 0.001; ηp2 = 0.907) whereby WR was significantly lower than both NE and NER; in addition, the latter two did not differ. Compared with baseline, there were no statistically significant differences between cuffs for either arterial or cMP-mediated blood flow. Unsurprisingly, no participants demonstrated venous blood flow at 80% AOP. These findings support the viability of a novel narrow-elastic BFR product, evidenced by consistent AOP acquisition and equivocal blood flow parameters.


Published in Oxygen by MDPI. Available via doi: 10.3390/oxygen3020014.

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