Skin vasodilator response to local heating in multiple system atrophy

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Abstract

Local heating of nonglabrous skin increases skin blood flow (SkBF) in two phases. The initial peak (P1) is mediated by a sensory-axon reflex and the plateau phase (P2) by local production of substances such as nitric oxide. We evaluated the SkBF response to local heating in 15 multiple system atrophy (MSA) patients with autonomic failure and 12 age-matched healthy controls. The mean ratio of SkBF at P1 to that at baseline (SkBFP1/SkBFbase ratio) in MSA was significantly lower than that in controls (P < 0.01). The mean ratio of SkBF at P2 seemed to be slightly reduced in the MSA patients, compared with controls, although there was no significant difference. The P1 phase is thought to be mediated by a sensory-axon reflex modulated by sympathetic nerve activity. These findings are indicative of the skin sympathetic vasomotor dysfunction in MSA. © 2007 Movement Disorder Society

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