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      Responses of the Skin Microcirculation to Acetylcholine in Patients with Essential Hypertension and in Normotensive Patients with Chronic Renal Failure

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          Aims: To assess the endothelial function of the skin microcirculation in chronic renal failure (CRF) independent of hypertension, we investigated the changes of the cutaneous blood flow induced by iontophoretic delivery of acetylcholine (ACh) and of sodium nitroprusside (SNP) in CRF patients free from arterial hypertension and in patients with essential hypertension. Methods: The study included 20 patients affected by CRF (mean creatinine clearance 12 ± 2 ml/min) without arterial hypertension (mean blood pressure 96 ± 1 mm Hg), 15 patients affected by essential hypertension (mean blood pressure 124 ± 1 mm Hg), and 20 normal controls. The changes of skin blood flow following iontophoretic delivery of ACh and of SNP were measured by laser Doppler flowmetry. Results: Following maximal ACh or SNP delivery, the change of blood flow from the baseline was similar both in normals (683 ± 92 vs. 684 ± 87%) and in CRF patients (778 ± 108 vs. 803 ± 124%), whereas in the hypertensives the response to ACh was lower than to SNP (434 ± 48 vs. 702 ± 98%, p < 0.01). Since the third ACh delivery dose, the skin blood flow increments were significantly lower in the hypertensive than in the CRF or in the normal control groups, whereas no difference was observed between uremics and controls. Conclusions: The endothelium-dependent hyperemia following ACh iontophoretic delivery is impaired in the skin microcirculation of essential hypertensive patients, but this is not the case in CRF patients with no history of arterial hypertension. This suggests that CRF per se, independent of arterial hypertension, is not associated with endothelial dysfunction of skin microcirculation.

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          Chronic renal failure--a vasculopathic state.

           R K Luke (1998)
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            Cutaneous vasodilation to acetylcholine in patients with essential hypertension.

            Endothelium-dependent vasodilation is reduced in the forearm of patients with essential hypertension. To evaluate whether endothelium-dependent vasodilation is also reduced in the skin microcirculation of patients with essential hypertension, we evaluated the effect of acetylcholine, an endothelium-dependent vasodilator, and sodium nitroprusside, an endothelium-independent vasodilator, on cutaneous and total forearm blood flow in normotensive subjects (n = 8) and matched patients with essential hypertension (n = 9). We infused acetylcholine (0.15, 0.45, 1.5, 4.5, and 15 microg/100 ml forearm tissue/min) and sodium nitroprusside (1, 2, and 4 microg/100 ml forearm tissue/min) into the brachial artery, and we measured cutaneous blood flow (laser Doppler flowmeter) and muscle blood flow (strain-gauge venous plethysmography) modifications. Both the cutaneous and muscle blood flow increases induced by acetylcholine were reduced in patients with essential hypertension as compared with normotensive controls, whereas the skin and muscle vasodilation induced by sodium nitroprusside was similar in the two groups of patients. These data confirm the impairment of endothelium-dependent vasodilation in the muscle vascular bed of patients with essential hypertension and demonstrate the presence of endothelial dysfunction in skin microcirculation.

              Author and article information

              S. Karger AG
              June 2000
              31 May 2000
              : 85
              : 2
              : 114-119
              Dipartimento di Medicina Interna, Università di Pisa, Italia
              45643 Nephron 2000;85:114–119
              © 2000 S. Karger AG, Basel

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              Figures: 2, Tables: 1, References: 30, Pages: 6
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