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Effects of exercise intensity on clot microstructure and mechanical properties in healthy individuals

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posted on 2022-12-20, 15:39 authored by N.A. Davies, O. Llwyd, J.V. Brugniaux, G.R. Davies, C.J. Marley, D. Hodson, M.J. Lawrence, L.A. D'Silva, Keith Morris, K. Hawkins, P.R. Williams, D.M. Bailey, P.A. Evans

 Background Exercise is well established to lead to exercise-induced hypercoagulability, as demonstrated by kinetic coagulation markers. It remains unclear as to whether exercise-induces changes lead in clot development and increased polymerisation. Fractal dimension (df) has been shown to act as a marker of clot microstructure and mechanical properties, and may provide a more meaningful method of determining the relationship between exercise-induced hypercoagulability and potential clot development.Methodsdfwas measured in 24 healthy individuals prior to, after 5min of submaximal exercise, following maximal exercise, 45min of passive recovery and following 60min of recovery. Results were compared with conventional markers of coagulation, fibrinolysis and SEM images.ResultsSignificantly increaseddfwas observed following exercise, returning to resting values following 60min of recovery. The relationship betweendfand mature clot microstructure was confirmed by SEM: higherdfwas associated with dense clots formed of smaller fibrin fibres immediately following exercise compared to at rest. Conventional markers of coagulation confirmed findings of previous studies.ConclusionThis study demonstrates thatdfis a sensitive technique which quantifies the structure and properties of blood clots following exercise. In healthy individuals, the haemostatic balance between coagulation and fibrinolysis is maintained in equilibrium following exercise. In individuals with underlying vascular damage who participate in exercise, this equilibrium may be displaced and lead to enhanced clot formation and a prothrombotic state.dfmay therefore have the potential to not only quantify hypercoagulability, but may also be useful in screening these individuals. 


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Thrombosis Research




  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)


Davies, N.A., Llwyd, O., Brugniaux, J.V., Davies, G.R., Marley, C.J., Hodson, D., Lawrence, M.J., D'Silva, L.A., Morris, R.H.K., Hawkins, K. and Williams, P.R. (2016) Effects of exercise intensity on clot microstructure and mechanical properties in healthy individuals. Thrombosis research, 143, pp.130-136.

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Cardiff Met Affiliation

  • Cardiff School of Sport and Health Sciences

Cardiff Met Authors

Keith Morris

Cardiff Met Research Centre/Group

  • Cardiovascular Metabolism and Inflammation

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