In vivo assessment of peripheral vascular function by tcpO₂ and skin blood flow modelling.

Research paper by Luis Monteiro LM Rodrigues, Pedro Contreiras PC Pinto, Joachim W JW Fluhr

Indexed on: 14 Dec '11Published on: 14 Dec '11Published in: Experimental Dermatology


There are multiple techniques and methods to assess peripheral vascular function in vivo but not without limitations. More discriminative, sensitive and also practical evaluation strategies are needed to fully characterize the peripheral vascular function. In the present work, a new quantitative descriptor, the 'elimination half-life time' was developed from flow-related variables as a non-invasive microcirculatory rate parameter to describe vascular dynamics. Fifty-four healthy volunteers and six type 2 diabetic patients, both genders, were submitted to a dynamical procedure consisting in the inhalation of a 100% saturated atmosphere of oxygen for 10 min. The tcpO(2) and microcirculatory blood flow [Laser Doppler Flowmetry (LDF)] were measured in a randomly selected leg with a Periflux 5000 system before, during and after the procedure. A monocompartmental model was adjusted to tcpO(2) and LDF data. The tcpO(2) constant elimination rate, expressed as the Oxygen elimination half-life, was used as an indicator of the vulnerability of peripheral tissue and compared in healthy versus non-healthy individuals. Under normal conditions, the saturated ventilation increases the tissue's O(2) availability, as an expression of the natural capacity to adjust the tissue hemodynamics to new metabolical/perfusion conditions. Diabetic patients are expected to suffer vascular impairment and ischemia. Under O(2) overloading conditions, those hypoxic territories tend to uptake all the delivered oxygen, expressed as a significant increase in the O(2) elimination half-life. This approach allows to propose 'elimination half-life time' as the first quantitative descriptive parameter combining miogenic, hemodynamic and metabolic aspects of the microcirculatory physiology and to help to identify the individual's vascular vulnerability.