Impact of blood pressure cuff inflation rates on flow-mediated dilatation and contralateral arm response

H. F. Lin, M. S. Dhindsa, T. Tarumi, S. C. Miles, D. Umpierre, H. Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Flow-mediated dilatation (FMD) is widely used as an index of nitric oxide-mediated vasodilator function, yet its methodology has not been well established. Previous research indicates that a rapid inflation of a blood pressure cuff evokes systemic vasoconstriction, as it was observed even on non-occluded contralateral arm. This would potentially contribute to the variability of FMD readings and complicate the emerging evidence that nonoccluded contralateral arm fingertip temperature responses during the FMD procedure may be an indicator of the presence of coronary artery disease. To test the hypotheses that rapid inflation of a blood pressure cuff could reduce FMD values and influence contralateral vasodilatory states, 33 apparently healthy adults (18 males and 15 females, 29±6 years) were studied in two randomized FMD trials. The blood flow-occluding cuff was inflated rapidly (<1s) in one trial or slowly over 10 s in the other trial. Arterial diameter, fingertip temperature and infrared thermography were obtained throughout each session. FMD values were not different between the rapid and slow cuff inflation trials (5.9±0.6 vs 5.9±0.4%). There were no differences in reactive hyperaemia (6.4±1.6 vs 6.2±1.7AU), shear stress (80±20 vs 77±17 dyncm -2) and fingertip temperature rebound (TR; 1.8±1.2 vs 1.9±1.0 1C) between the rapid and slow inflation. Changes in finger temperature on the contralateral (non-occluded) arm were positively associated with those on the occluded arm (r=0.26 to 0.61, P<0.05). We concluded that rates of inflating a blood pressure cuff do not affect FMD and TR response, and that neurovascularinduced vasodilatation of the contralateral arm was not observed regardless of cuff inflation rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-40
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Human Hypertension
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • endothelium-dependent vasodilatation
  • opposite arm
  • vascular reactivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine


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