Limb suction evoked during arterial occlusion causes systemic sympathetic activity in humans

Jian Cui, Cheryl Blaha, Michael D. Herr, Rachel C. Drew, Matthew D. Muller, Lawrence I. Sinoway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Venous saline infusions in an arterially occluded forearm evokes reflex increases in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) and blood pressure (BP). We hypothesized that the application of suction to the human limbs would activate this venous distension reflex and raise sympathetic outflow. We placed airtight pressure tanks and applied 100 mmHg negative pressure to an arterially occluded limb (occlusion and suction, O&S) to induce tissue deformation without fluid translocation. BP, heart rate (HR), and MSNA were assessed in 19 healthy subjects during 2 min of arm or leg O&S. Occlusion without suction served as a control. During a separate visit, saline (5% forearm volume) was infused into veins of the arterially occluded arm (n =13). The O&S increased limb circumference, MSNA burst rate (arm: D6.7± 0.7; leg: D6.8± 0.7 bursts/min), and total activity (arm: D199± 14; leg: D172 ± 22 units/min) and BP (arm: D4.3± 0.3; leg: D9.4 ± 1.4 mmHg) from the baseline. The MSNA and BP responses during arm O&S correlated with those during leg O&S. Occlusion alone had no effect on MSNA and BP. MSNA (r =0.607) responses during arm O&S correlated with those evoked by the saline infusion into the arm. These correlations suggest that sympathetic activation during limb O&S is likely, at least partially, to be evoked via the venous distension reflex. These data suggest that suction of an occluded limb evokes sympathetic activation and that the limb venous distension reflex exists in arms and legs of normal humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R482-R488
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 3 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Limb suction evoked during arterial occlusion causes systemic sympathetic activity in humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this