THE PRONOUNCED cutaneous hyperemia upon release of a tourniquet has long been familiar to surgeons. This reaction, which is called reactive hyperemia, has been studied in detail by a number of workers, starting with Lister and including many of the outstanding names in vascular physiology. The period of hyperemia bears a definite relationship to the length of the circulatory arrest. Provided occlusion is not prolonged for more than a few minutes, the duration of the hyperemia is usually one-half to threefourths that of the arrest.1 It has been shown that the hyperemia represents the repayment of a blood flow debt which is built up during the period of arrest in the limb distal to the cuff.* The reaction is dependent upon accumulation of local metabolites during the period of arrest and upon the arterial pressure within the limb.4 The intense cutaneous hyperemia is the result of dilatation
LEEDS FH, FREEMAN NE, GILFILLAN RS, COELHO HM. BLOOD PRESSURE IN MINUTE VESSELS OF HUMAN SKIN: Clinical Estimation Made by the Method of Elevation and Reactive Hyperemia: II. Effects of Sympathectomy. AMA Arch Surg. 1955;70(1):25–28. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270070027006
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