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Background: The aim of the present study was to evaluate changes in microvascular density and reactivity in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) resulting from low intensity chronic exercise training. Methods: This study included 22 (34 ± 7 years) consecutive outpatients with T1D and disease duration > 6 years. We used intravital video-microscopy to measure basal skin capillary density and capillary recruitment using post-occlusive reactive hyperemia (PORH) in the dorsum of the fingers. Endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilation of the skin microcirculation was evaluated in the forearm with a laser Doppler flow monitoring (LDF) system in combination with acetylcholine and sodium nitroprusside iontophoresis, PORH and local thermal hyperemia. Results: The basal mean capillary density (MCD) after exercise training was significantly higher than before exercise (134 ± 25 vs. 119 ± 19 capillaries/mm2, respectively; P = 0.0013). MCD during PORH was also higher after exercise (140 ± 26 vs. 121 ± 24 capillaries/mm2, respectively; P < 0.0001). Endothelium-dependent capillary recruitment during PORH was also significantly higher after exercise (140 ± 26 vs. 134 ± 25 capillaries/mm2, respectively; P < 0.0012). There were no significant changes in skin microvascular reactivity after exercise as investigated using LDF. Conclusions: Our results showed that low intensity aerobic exercise, performed four times per week for 12 weeks by patients with T1D, induces significant increases in microvascular density and endothelial-dependent capillary reactivity. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02441504. Registered 7 May 2015.
de Moraes, R., Van Bavel, D., Gomes, M. de B., & Tibiriçá, E. (2016). Effects of non-supervised low intensity aerobic excise training on the microvascular endothelial function of patients with type 1 diabetes: A non-pharmacological interventional study. BMC Cardiovascular Disorders, 16(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12872-016-0191-9