Vol 74, No 4 (2015)
Original article
Published online: 2015-11-27

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Evidence of increased axillary blood flow velocity without increased handgrip strength and endurance in persons with a fibromuscular axillary arch

A. Scafoglieri, M. De Maeseneer, A. Debondt, C. Boulet, J. Tresignie, J. De Mey, J. P. Clarys
DOI: 10.5603/FM.2015.0112
Pubmed: 26620510
Folia Morphol 2015;74(4):486-492.


Background: The purpose of this in vivo study was to compare axillary artery blood flow velocity, and maximal handgrip strength and endurance performance in young subjects with and without an axillary arch (AA).

Materials and methods: One hundred and fifty-six young adults were screened for the presence of an AA on their dominant arm side. After physical examination subjects were checked using diagnostic echography for the presence of an AA. Sixteen subjects with an AA and 15 without an AA had their axillary artery peak systolic velocity quantified in 3 different arm positions using Doppler ultrasound. Maximal handgrip strength and endurance performance was quantified in the same positions using a functional rehabilitation system.

Results: Mean peak systolic velocity was significantly higher in the AA group compared to controls in abduction/external rotation of the arm during muscle relaxation (p = 0.003) and contraction (p = 0.01). No significant differences between groups were found for maximal handgrip strength and endurance performance.

Conclusions: This study provides evidence for a transient axillary artery compression by the AA in a throwing position. This is not reinforced by additional contraction of the shoulder muscles along with the AA. Axillary artery compression does not influence maximal handgrip strength and endurance performance in symptom-free young adults.