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Circulation. 1978 May;57(5):1001-3.

The effects of short-term venous congestion on forearm venous volume and reactive hyperemia blood flow in human subjects.


Congestive heart failure is associated with a reduction in limb venous volume at an effective venous pressure of 30 mm Hg (VV[30]). Further, an attenuated arteriolar dilation in response to a metabolic stimulus has been demonstrated. It was the purpose of this study to determine to what extent the chronic elevation in venous pressure seen in heart failure might explain these abnormalities of the limb circulation. Ten normal human volunteers were subjected to venous congestion of one arm for three hours at 70 mm Hg. A mercury-in-rubber strain gauge plethysmograph was used to measure forearm VV [30] and forearm blood flow at rest after release of five minutes of arterial occlusion (the reactive hyperemia response). Congestion reduced VV [30] 22%, resting forearm blood flow 49% and peak reactive hyperemia blood flow 25%. Thus, chronic venous congestion per se may significantly reduce limb venous volume as well as resting and reactive hyperemia blood flow.

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