The effect of oxygen supplementation on post-occlusive reactive hyperaemia in human forearm skin

F Khan, F M Carnochan, N C Abbot, S B Wilson

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    Abstract

    The effects of raised tissue oxygen levels on reactive hyperaemia (RH) in the skin following arterial occlusion of short duration were investigated. Oxygen levels were increased by breathing 100% oxygen at 1 and 2 atmospheres absolute (ATA) in a hyperbaric chamber. Superficial skin blood flow and oxygen tension were measured throughout using a laser Doppler flowmeter and a transcutaneous oxygen monitor. The basal pre-occlusion and the maximum post-occlusion blood flows (Flb and Flmax), the time taken for flow to fall to half maximum (TR1/2), and the time for flow to return to its basal level (TR) were measured. Pre- and end-occlusion transcutaneous oxygen levels were also recorded. Oxygen breathing at 1 ATA significantly reduced TR1/2 (p less than 0.05) and at 2 ATA significantly reduced TR1/2 and TR (p less than 0.005 and p less than 0.0001) compared with control measurements during air breathing at 1 ATA. Flmax was not significantly reduced breathing oxygen at 1 or 2 ATA. These findings support the view that maximum post-occlusion blood flow in superficial skin is determined mainly by myogenic mechanisms, whereas the recovery of blood flow to basal levels is influenced largely by oxygen tension. We conclude that the direct vasoconstrictor effect of high oxygen levels is small and that the faster recovery at high tissue oxygen tensions may result from a decrease in vasodilators formed during hypoxia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)43-53
    Number of pages11
    JournalInternational Journal of Microcirculation, Clinical and Experimental
    Volume10
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1991

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