Reproducibility of near-infrared spectroscopy measurements of oxidative function and postexercise recovery kinetics in the medial gastrocnemius muscle


The purpose of this study was to assess the reproducibility of resting blood flow, resting oxygen consumption, and mitochondrial capacity in skeletal muscle using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS). We also determined the influence of 2 exercise modalities (ergometer and rubber exercise bands) on the NIRS measurements. Fifteen young, healthy participants (5 female, 10 male) were tested on 2 nonconsecutive occasions within an 8-day period. The NIRS device was placed on the medial gastrocnemius. Venous and arterial occlusions were performed to obtain blood flow and oxygen consumption. A series of repeated arterial occlusions was used to measure the recovery kinetics of muscle oxygen consumption after$∼$7-10 s of voluntary plantar flexion exercise. Resting blood flow had mean coefficients of variation (CV) of 42% and 38% for bands and ergometer, respectively, and resting metabolism had mean CVs of 17% and 12% for bands and ergometer, respectively. The recovery time constant of oxygen consumption (day 1 bands and ergometer: 23.2 ± 3.7 s, 27.6 ± 6.5 s, respectively; day 2 bands and ergometer: 25.5 ± 5.4 s, 25.0 ± 4.9 s, respectively) had mean CVs of 10% and 11% for bands and ergometer, respectively. We conclude that measurements of oxygen consumption and mitochondrial capacity using NIRS can be obtained with good reproducibility.

Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism