Muscle fiber characteristics in patients with peripheral arterial disease
McGuigan, MRM and Bronks, R and Newton, RU and Sharman, MJ and Graham, JC and Cody, DV and Kraemer, WJ, Muscle fiber characteristics in patients with peripheral arterial disease, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 2001 Dec, (33(12)) pp. 2016-21. ISSN 0195-9131 (2001) [Refereed Article]
PURPOSE: There have been conflicting reports of muscle fiber type changes in patients with peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The purpose of this study was to examine the myosin heavy chain (MHC) expression as well as histochemical changes in the gastrocnemius muscle in patients with symptomatic PAD.
METHODS: Needle biopsy specimens were obtained from the medial gastrocnemius of 14 subjects with PAD (mean age (+/- SD), 69.7 +/- 4.8 yr) and eight activity-matched control subjects (mean age, 65.1 +/- 6.6 yr). Ankle-brachial index was assessed using Doppler ultrasound to determine the hemodynamic status of the patients, and maximal walking performance was determined during a graded treadmill test. Expression of MHC isoforms was determined by SDS-PAGE.
RESULTS: The proportion of MHC I was significantly smaller in PAD than in the controls (45.6 +/- 9.1% vs 58.8 +/- 15.0%). The proportion of MHC IIx was also larger in the subjects with PAD compared with the controls (22.9 +/- 9.1% vs 16.0 +/- 11.3%). In addition, there was a significant decrease in the cross-sectional area of the type I and type IIA fibers in the subjects with PAD as well as enhanced capillary density.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed a significant modification in the expression of MHC isoforms and muscle fiber type in the gastrocnemius in patients with symptomatic PAD. These results suggest that muscle ischemia resulting from PAD is an important factor in causing the adaptations in the contractile apparatus of the muscle.