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The investigation of skin blood flowmotion:

a new approach to study the microcirculatory impairment in vascular diseases?

M Rossi 1, A Carpi, F Galetta, F Franzoni, G Santoro Affiliations expand

  • PMID: 16935461

  • DOI: 10.1016/j.biopha.2006.07.012

Abstract Skin blood flow oscillation, the so called flowmotion, is a consequence of the arteriolar diameter oscillations, i.e. vasomotion, and it is thought to play a critical role in favoring the optimal distribution of blood flow in the skin microvascular bed. Investigation of skin blood flowmotion, using spectral analysis of the skin laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) signal, showed different flowmotion waves of endothelial, sympathetic or myogenic mediated vasomotion origin. Using this method in peripheral arterial obstructive disease (PAOD) patients an impairment of all the three flowmotion waves was found at level of the diseased leg following ischemia in the II stage of the disease and basally in critical limb ischemia. In patients with essential arterial hypertension (EHT) forearm skin blood flowmotion showed a post-ischemic impairment of myogenic and sympathetic components in newly diagnosed patients, and of endothelial and sympathetic components in long standing patients. In diabetic patients there was a selective impairment of skin flowmotion wave mediated by sympathetic activity in basal conditions. Investigation of skin blood flowmotion in response to different vasoactive substances demonstrated an important role of nitric oxide (NO) in controlling the endothelial component of vasomotion and an insulin action on smooth muscle cells of skin microvessels. All these data suggest that the study of skin blood flowmotion can become a method to early and easily detect skin microvascular impairment in vascular diseases and to investigate the mechanisms of substances active on skin microvascular bed.

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