The effects of changes in central cardiovascular function on peripheral vasodilation were investigated. Strain gauge plethysmography was used to measure the maximal blood flow response following release of forearm arterial occlusion and the peak reactive hyperemic blood flow response (ml/min · 100 ml) before and twice after orthotopic heart transplantation in 10 subjects with severe congestive heart failure. The 2 posttransplantation studies were done before hospital discharge (mean 18 days after transplantation) and again after discharge (mean 114 days after transplantation). Transplantation led to a significant but delayed increase in maximal vasodilation (reactive hyperemic blood flow: pretransplant 21 ± 3; predischarge 25 ± 2; postdischarge 43 ± 5) and a concurrent significant reduction in minimal forearm resistance. Although the improvement in peripheral vasodilator function may be linked to improvement in cardiac function, this linkage is not direct, nor is it immediate. If the normalization of maximal metabolic blood flow is related to resumption of normal physical activity post-discharge, then much of the basic abnormality in vasodilator capacity in congestive heart failure may be related to physical deconditioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine