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October 1956

An Experimental and Clinical Study of Vascular Spasm

Author Affiliations

Toronto, Ont., Canada

AMA Arch Surg. 1956;73(4):625-634. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1956.01280040081010

Over the past three to four decades, vascular spasm in the extremities has become a subject of increasing clinical, as well as some experimental, interest. The experimental work done has been in an effort to relate localized trauma of a major artery to subsequent spasm of the arterial tree. This experimental work was initiated at the suggestion of Dr. W. T. Mustard, following the occurrence of vascular spasm with well-marked Volkmann's ischemia in the lower extremity after traction in the treatment of fractures of the femur in childhood (Thomson and Mahoney, 1951).

It was felt that an effort should be made to show that arterial spasm can be initiated consistently following stretch of the vascular tree, either from its resting state or after previous shortening, and that localized trauma is not a necessary factor in the production of this spasm.

Experimental Observation  The experimental findings have been reported previously (Mustard

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