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Eur J Vasc Surg. 1992 Sep;6(5):525-32.

The relevance of posturally induced microvascular constriction after revascularisation in patients with chronic leg ischaemia.

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Department of Surgery, Academic Hospital, Maastricht, The Netherlands.


In patients with severe chronic lower limb ischaemia, postural vasoconstriction is disturbed, resulting in enhanced skin microcirculatory perfusion on leg dependency. After vascular reconstructive surgery, postoperative oedema formation is frequently seen. In 31 patients with leg ischaemia undergoing revascularisation we investigated whether and, if so, for how long after surgery postural vasoconstriction would take to recover, and whether disturbed vasoconstriction correlates with the occurrence of postoperative oedema. Capillary microscopy and laser Doppler fluxmetry were used to assess nutritional and total skin perfusion, respectively. The measurements were performed before and up to 37 days after surgery. After revascularisation, the mean ankle blood pressure index rose from 40 to 82%. All patients, except those with persistently disturbed vasoconstriction showed improved microcirculatory parameters. Postural vasoconstriction was restored in 24 patients, occurring approximately on the eighth postoperative day. All patients who failed to recover vasoconstriction developed postoperative oedema. This study shows that the disturbance in postural vasoconstriction can be reversible, probably due to recovery of arteriolar smooth muscle tone, and that patients with persistently disturbed postural vasoconstriction, are prone to develop postoperative oedema.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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