Effect of local heating and vasodilation on the cutaneous venoarteriolar response

Jennifer L. Davison, Daniel S. Short, Thad E. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The cutaneous venoarteriolar response (CVAR) is a local non-adrenergic vasoconstrictor reflex that is engaged via increases in local transmural pressure. The purpose of this study was to determine if local temperature alters the vasoconstrictor ability of the CVAR. Twelve (5 male, 7 female) subjects performed a CVAR maneuver at local temperatures of 30 ± 1, 34, 38, and 42° C. CVAR was also engaged after vasodilation via intradermal perfusion of sodium nitroprusside or the attenuation of local heating-induced vasodilation via intradermal perfusion of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) in five subjects (2 male, 3 female). CVAR was elicited by rapid cuff inflation to 45 mmHg proximal to two dorsal forearm sites for 2 min in both protocols. Local heating caused a progressive increase in skin blood flow (8 ± 1, 18 ± 4, 43 ± 11, and 78 ± 2% maximal skin blood flow for 30 ± 1, 34, 38, and 42° C, respectively). Engagement of the CVAR decreased skin blood flow by 53 ± 2, 57 ± 3, and 51 ± 4%, for 30 ± 1, 34, and 38° C, respectively. In contrast, local heating to 42°C significantly attenuated the CVAR (16 ± 11%). Local administration of sodium nitro-prusside during neutral temperature and L-NAME during local heating also significantly attenuated the vasoconstrictor response of the CVAR by 27 ± 8 and 38 ± 4%, respectively. These data indicate that CVAR is attenuated at high (42°C) local skin temperatures and that this attenuation is likely due to an effect of both local heating-induced vasodilation and a direct temperature effect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2004

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
■ Acknowledgments The authors would like to express their appreciation for assistance provided by Drs.Michael Craig and Kevin Mon-ahan and by the Nurse Anesthesia program at Southwest Missouri State University. Current address for T. E. Wilson is Department of Medicine, Division of Cardiology, Penn State University College of Medicine,Hershey,PA 17033.This research project was funded in part by a grant from the American Heart Association.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Intradermal microdialysis
  • Postural reflexes
  • Skin blood flow
  • Vasoconstriction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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