Electrically evoked skin vasodilatation: a quantitative test of nociceptor function in man.

R. A. Westerman, A. Low, A. Pratt, J. S. Hutchinson, J. Szolcsányi, W. Magerl, H. O. Handwerker, W. M. Kozak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Direct stimulation of intact forearm skin affects adjacent microvascular blood flux. Pulses of current, known to activate C-fibres effectively, were applied over a period of 1-16 seconds at 2 Hz using transcutaneous stimulation. An increase of up to 50% was observed in skin microvascular blood flux. Increased blood flux correlated well with increasingly painful sensations. Some subjects responded to one or two pulses at 2 Hz, 0.5 ms in duration and 150 volts. A response onset latency of 4-15 s, lasting up to 5 minutes, was recorded. At higher frequencies (4-8 Hz) and more pulses (16-32) vasoconstriction was frequently observed before the usual flux increase. After administration of local anaesthesia (2% ligocaine) the resting skin blood flux increased, but electrical stimulation still produced vasodilatation. The local cutaneous flare response to electrical stimulation was abolished or greatly reduced by capsaicin pretreatment. Excitation of small intracutanous forearm nerve C-fibres produces increased microvascular blood flux which is dependent on local release of vasodilator substances. Thus the neurogenic flare (axon reflex) may have a physiological role in regulating skin blood flow, and nociceptor function may be measured by applying the aforementioned transcutaneous electrical stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)81-89
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and experimental neurology
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 1987

Fingerprint

Nociceptors
Vasodilation
Skin
Unmyelinated Nerve Fibers
Forearm
Electric Stimulation
Transcutaneous Electric Nerve Stimulation
Capsaicin
Local Anesthesia
Vasoconstriction
Vasodilator Agents
Nerve Fibers
Reaction Time
Axons
Reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Westerman, R. A., Low, A., Pratt, A., Hutchinson, J. S., Szolcsányi, J., Magerl, W., ... Kozak, W. M. (1987). Electrically evoked skin vasodilatation: a quantitative test of nociceptor function in man. Clinical and experimental neurology, 23, 81-89.

Electrically evoked skin vasodilatation : a quantitative test of nociceptor function in man. / Westerman, R. A.; Low, A.; Pratt, A.; Hutchinson, J. S.; Szolcsányi, J.; Magerl, W.; Handwerker, H. O.; Kozak, W. M.

In: Clinical and experimental neurology, Vol. 23, 1987, p. 81-89.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Westerman, RA, Low, A, Pratt, A, Hutchinson, JS, Szolcsányi, J, Magerl, W, Handwerker, HO & Kozak, WM 1987, 'Electrically evoked skin vasodilatation: a quantitative test of nociceptor function in man.', Clinical and experimental neurology, vol. 23, pp. 81-89.
Westerman, R. A. ; Low, A. ; Pratt, A. ; Hutchinson, J. S. ; Szolcsányi, J. ; Magerl, W. ; Handwerker, H. O. ; Kozak, W. M. / Electrically evoked skin vasodilatation : a quantitative test of nociceptor function in man. In: Clinical and experimental neurology. 1987 ; Vol. 23. pp. 81-89.
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