Regional variations in nocturnal fluctuations in subcutaneous blood flow rate in the lower leg of man

J H Sindrup, J Kastrup, B Jørgensen

2 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of the study was to investigate possible regional variations in recently discovered nocturnal fluctuations in subcutaneous blood flow rates. Approximately 90 min after going to sleep, a 100% blood flow rate increment, lasting about 100 min, has been demonstrated in the distal and medial aspect of the right lower leg of normal human subjects. In the present study subcutaneous adipose tissue blood flow rates were measured simultaneously in the right and left lower legs of 16 normal human subjects over 12-20 h ambulatory conditions. The 133Xe wash-out technique, portable CdTe(Cl) detectors and a portable data storage unit were used. The tracer depots were applied on the medial aspects of the right lower leg and on the medial (series 1) and lateral (series 2) aspect of the left lower leg 10 cm proximal to the malleolar level by means of the epicutaneous, atraumatic labelling technique. A nocturnal hyperaemic response was demonstrated at both the medial and lateral aspect of the leg. As for the degree of hyperaemia and the absolute blood flow rates in the different phases, there were some deviations between the medial and the lateral locations. However, a highly significant positive correlation was observed in both series concerning the duration of the period from going to bed until the hyperaemia phase (P less than 0.001). The mechanisms involved in the nightly subcutaneous hyperaemia are at present unknown. The sudden, synchronized increase in nocturnal subcutaneous blood flow points to a central nervous or humoral elicitation, although local metabolic factors might participate as well.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical physiology (Oxford, England)
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)491-9
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1991


  • Adult
  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Central Nervous System
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leg
  • Male
  • Microcirculation
  • Skin
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Sleep
  • Xenon Radioisotopes


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