To determine whether muscle blood flow before and after exercise is abnormal in patients with diabetes mellitus.

Research Design and Methods

Muscle blood flow (MBF) was measured with the 133Xe clearance technique in 15 nondiabetic subjects, 10 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), and 11 patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes (NIDDM) at rest and after exercise. None of the patients had neuropathy.


The median resting MBF was similar in all three groups. The median postexercise MBF was significantly greater in nondiabetic subjects (40.1 ml· min−1·100 g−1 of tissue) than in patients with IDDM (25.7 ml· min−1·100 g−1 of tissue; P <0.01) or NIDDM (14 ml· min−1·100 g−1 of tissue; P <0.01). The difference between IDDM and NIDDM was not significant.


Diabetic patients have abnormalities of MBF in response to exercise. This abnormality occurs in the absence of clinical diabetic neuropathy.

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