Suction pressure therapy, in common with most forms of treatment of organic arterial obstruction, has as its aim the dilatation of the smaller arteries and arterioles, thus promoting a circulation collateral to the obstructed large arteries. There seems to be no reason to believe that such therapy can have any effect on spasm of these vessels. Nevertheless, such spasm is present in many cases of organic disease and adds materially to the obstruction caused by the organic lesion. Moreover, this spasm actually tends to keep contracted the very vessels that the treatment hopes to dilate and is therefore antagonistic to the treatment.
This spasm is prominent in the acute obstructions, especially embolism and thrombosis. Indeed, experience shows that when embolism occurs in a peripheral artery, if only the factor of spasm is removed, the collateral circulation may spontaneously become adequate to avert gangrene. In the case of thrombosis, one is
EDWARDS EA. TREATMENT OF ORGANIC ARTERIAL OBSTRUCTION BY ALTERNATING SUCTION AND PRESSURE: A DEVICE TO RELIEVE INCIDENTAL ARTERIOSPASM. JAMA. 1937;108(8):626–628. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780080020007
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