Beneficial effects of endurance exercise training on skeletal muscle microvasculature in sickle cell disease patients.

Angèle N MerletLéonard Féasson


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a genetic hemoglobinopathy leading to 2 major clinical manifestations: severe chronic hemolytic anemia and iterative vaso-occlusive crises. SCD is also accompanied by profound muscle microvascular remodeling. The beneficial effects of endurance training on microvasculature are widely known. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of an endurance training program on microvasculature of skeletal muscle in SCD patients. A biopsy of the vastus lateralis muscle and submaximal incremental exercise was performed before and after the training period. Of the 40 randomized SCD patients, complete data sets from 32 patients were obtained. The training group (n = 15) followed a personalized moderate-intensity endurance training program, while the nontraining (n = 17) group maintained a normal lifestyle. Training consisted of three 40-minute cycle ergometer exercise sessions per week for 8 weeks. Histological analysis highlighted microvascular benefits in the training SCD patients compared with nontraining patients, including increases in capillary density (P = .003), number of capillaries around a fiber (P = .015), and functional exchange surface (P < .0001). Conversely, no significant between-group di...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Anemia, Sickle Cell
Soleus Muscle Structure
Microvascular Network
Blood Capillaries
Clinical Trials
Structure of Vastus Lateralis Muscle

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