Effects of resistance training on MRI-derived epicardial fat volume and arterial stiffness in women with obesity: a randomized pilot study

  • Maria Fernandez-del-Valle
  • Joaquin U. Gonzales
  • Shelby Kloiber
  • Sunanda Mitra
  • Jon Klingensmith
  • Eneko Larumbe-Zabala
Original Article
  • 66 Downloads

Abstract

Aim

To date, few studies have analyzed the effects of exercise on cardiac adipose tissue. Overall, exercise programs did not meet the recommendations for significant weight loss, the utilization of resistance training was minimal, and the conclusions derived from these studies have diminished exercise as a strategy for cardiac fat loss.

Purpose

The objective of this pilot study was to analyze the effects of 3-week high-intensity, moderate-volume muscular endurance resistance training (RT) on cardiac fat and arterial stiffness.

Methods

A total of 11 young females with obesity, BMI = 34.13 (± 3.16) kg/m2 (n = 5 control, n = 6 intervention) completed the study. Absolute strength was assessed using one repetition maximum test (1RM) for bench press (BP) and leg press (LP), and relative strength was calculated using body weight (BW) as BP-to-BW and LP-to-BW ratio. Magnetic resonance was used to quantify epicardial and paracardial adipose tissue (EAT and PAT) volume, and applanation tonometry was used to assess arterial stiffness by estimating pulse wave velocity (PWV).

Results

EAT and PAT volumes (ml) showed significant interaction effects (p = 0.037 and p = 0.031), and very large changes (d > 1) of EAT (p = 0.006) and PAT (p = 0.036) in the intervention group. In addition, strength was significantly improved, including BP (p = 0.003), LP (p = 0.001), BP-to-BW ratio (p = 0.001), and LP-to-BW ratio (p = 0.002), while no changes were found in PWV.

Conclusions

High-intensity, moderate-volume RT, designed to enhance muscular endurance following the recommendations reduces EAT and PAT volumes, improves physical fitness in females with obesity, and has no negative effects on arterial stiffness.

Keywords

Epicardial fat Paracardial fat Arterial stiffness High-intensity Moderate-volume Resistance training 

Abbreviations

A-DBP

Aortic diastolic blood pressure

ANOVA

Analysis of variance

A-SBP

Aortic systolic blood pressure

aVO2

Absolute oxygen consumption

BMI

Body mass index

BP

Bench press

BP-to-BW

Bench press to body weight

BW

Body weight

CI

Cardiac index

EAT

Epicardial adipose tissue

FFM

Fat free mass

FM

Fat mass

HR max

Maximal heart rate

LBM

Lean body mass

LP

Leg press

LP-to-BW

Leg press to body weight

MRI

Magnetic resonance imaging

OMNI-RES

OMNI-Resistance Exercise Scale

PAT

Paracardial adipose tissue

PWV

Pulse wave velocity

Q

Cardiac output

rVO2

Relative oxygen consumption

SD

Standard deviation

1RM

1 repetition maximum

%BF

Percentage of body fat

Notes

Acknowledgements

This study was partially funded by the Office of the Vicepresident for Research Seed Funds Program Texas Tech University. This project registered at http://www.clinicaltrial.gov (NCT02589327). The authors have no conflict of interest to disclose. The results of this study are presented clearly, honestly, and without fabrication, falsification, or inappropriate data manipulation.

Author contributions

Study concept and design: MF, EL. Acquisition of data: MF, JG, SK, JK, SM. Analysis and interpretation of data: MF, EL, JG. Drafting of the manuscript: MF, SK. Critical revision: MF, EL, JG, JK, SM. Statistical Analysis: MF, EL. Technical and material support: SK, JG, JK. Study supervision: MF, SK, SM. All the authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Applied HealthSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Kinesiology and Sport ManagementTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  3. 3.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringTexas Tech UniversityLubbockUSA
  4. 4.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringSouthern Illinois University EdwardsvilleEdwardsvilleUSA
  5. 5.Clinical Research InstituteTexas Tech University Health Sciences CenterLubbockUSA

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