Effects of Blood Flow Restriction on Leukocyte Profile and Muscle Damage

Leandro Dos Santos, Michely V Andreatta, Victor M Curty, Wena Dantas Marcarini, Lucas Guimaraes Ferreira, Valerio G Barauna

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8 Citations (Scopus)
26 Downloads (Pure)


Muscle damage affects the blood leukocyte profile. Resistance exercise (RE) with blood flow restriction (BFR) attenuates exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD).

Purpose: To evaluate muscle damage and the leukocyte profile in response to RE+BFR and to compare with high intensity RE.

Methods: Twenty volunteers performed the RE in the leg press apparatus in the following groups: RE80, 80% of 1RM (3 × until concentric muscle failure); RE40+BFR, 40% of 1RM with BFR (same total work of RE80 group). The BFR applied was 80% of the total occlusion pressure.

Results: There were no differences in the blood leukocyte profile among groups despite the lower exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) in the RE40+BFR group (RE80: 10.07 ± 2.67 vs. RE40+BFR: 8.25 ± 0.96; cell × 103/mm3). Both groups showed leukocytosis (RE80: 7.59 ± 1.48 vs. 10.07 ± 2.67 and RE40+BFR: 6.57 ± 1.50 vs. 8.25 ± 0.96; cell × 103/mm3) and lymphocytosis (RE80: 2.48 ± 0.83 vs. 3.65 ± 1.31 and RE40+BFR: 2.22 ± 0.23 vs. 3.03 ± 0.65; cell × 103/mm3) immediately after exercise. Leukocytosis (ES 1.12 vs. ES 1.33) and lymphocytosis (ES 1.11 vs. ES 1.76) was greater in the RE40+BFR group.

Conclusion: RE associated with BFR was accompanied by a greater leukocytosis and lymphocytosis immediately after exercise, with no difference in neutrophils. This leukocyte blood profile may be related to less muscle damage, as well as faster muscle recovery after 24 and 48 h post-exercise.

Original languageEnglish
Article number572040
Number of pages8
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


Funding Information: This study was supported by the Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa do Espirito Santo (grant #151/2019 – Universal/FAPES). VB was supported by Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Tecnologia (CNPq fellowship). LS was supported by Conselho Nacional de Pesquisa e Tecnologia (CNPq-150200/2019-6).


  • leukocytes
  • blood flow restriction
  • resistance training
  • muscle damage
  • monocytes
  • lymphocytosis
  • neutrophils
  • exercise-induced muscle damage
  • Kaatsu training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology (medical)
  • Physiology


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