Skeletal muscle perfusion measured by positron emission tomography during exercise

Wim Ament*, Jaap Lubbers, Gerhard Rakhorst, Willem Vaalburg, Gijsbertus J. Verkerke, Anne M.J. Paans, Antoon T.M. Willemsen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The applicability of H215O-positron emission tomographic (PET) imaging for the assessment of skeletal muscle perfusion during exercise was investigated in five healthy subjects performing intermittent isometric contractions on a calf ergometer. The workload of the left calf muscles was kept constant in all exercises, while that of the right calf muscles was varied. During exercise H215O distribution in the calf muscles was measured by PET. Radioactivity measured in the left calf muscles was used as a reference for the radioactivity measured in the right calf muscles. In all studies, muscles were delineated by uptake of radioactivity. Four subjects demonstrated high radioactivity in the gastrocnemius medialis muscle, in one subject high radioactivity was distributed over the triceps surae muscles. The observed muscles demonstrated also local foci of radioactivity indicating regionally enhanced tissue perfusion. The right-left ratio of radioactivity in the active muscles increased as a function of the lend. We conclude that inter- and intramuscle perfusion differences can be measured during exercise by H215O-PET imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)653-658
Number of pages6
JournalPflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Muscle exercise
  • PET
  • Skeletal muscle perfusion


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