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Pain & Skin Blood Flow

Tonse.N.K.Raju U40200 at uicvm.uic.edu
Fri May 20 09:43:18 EST 1994

In a recent set of experiments we found that cutaneous blood
flow increases all over to non-specific pain stimuli; these
studies were done in human neonates undergoing routine clinical
tests, and blood flow measurements (quite accurate) were done using
a laser Doppler system.

Other than ascribing these changes to substance P mediated response,
we are somewhat at a loss to provide a "central" neruochemical explanation.
NO is a likely candidate, but "pathway" marking is tricky.
For instance, pain from heel prick for collection of blood immediately
caused increase in skin blood flow measured over the abdominal wall (not
the same dermatome).  Pre-treatment with morphine almost completely attenuates
skin blood flow changes.

These responses are unlikely to be epinephrine mediated.  Epinephrine,if any
is likley to cause cutaneous vasoconstriction.  Pain increased heart rate and
repiration, but changes in skin blood flow were more dramatic, more consistant,
and had less variance than all other measurements.

Can anyone kindly shed some light on this interesting finding?
Tonse N.K.Raju, MD                | Internet : tonse.n.k.raju at uic.edu
PROFESSOR OF PEDIATRICS M/C 856   | PHONE (W): 312-996-4183
University of Illinois at Chicago | Phone (Sec.): 312-996-4185
84 South Wood St.                 | FAX      : 312-413-7901
Chicago, IL  60612                | BITNET   : u40200 at UICVM

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