Intermittent arm ischemia induces vasodilatation of the contralateral upper limb

Kenki Enko, Kazufumi Nakamura, Kei Yunoki, Toru Miyoshi, Satoshi Akagi, Masashi Yoshida, Norihisa Toh, Mutsuko Sangawa, Nobuhiro Nishii, Satoshi Nagase, Kunihisa Kohno, Hiroshi Morita, Kengo F. Kusano, Hiroshi Ito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

78 Citations (Scopus)


Intermittent arm ischemia before percutaneous coronary intervention induces remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) and attenuates myocardial injury in patients with myocardial infarction. Several studies have shown that intermittent arm ischemia increases coronary flow and is related to autonomic nerve system. The aim of this study was to determine whether intermittent arm ischemia induces vasodilatation of other arteries and to assess changes in the autonomic nerve system during intermittent arm ischemia in humans. We measured change in the right brachial artery diameter during intermittent left arm ischemia through three cycles of 5-min inflation (200 mmHg) and 5-min deflation of a blood-pressure cuff using a 10-MHz linear array transducer probe in 20 healthy volunteers. We simultaneously performed power spectral analysis of heart rate. Ischemia-reperfusion of the left arm significantly dilated the right brachial artery time-dependently, resulting in a 3.2 ± 0.4% increase after the 3rd cycle. In the power spectral analysis of heart rate, the high-frequency domain (HF), which is a marker of parasympathetic activity, was significantly higher after the 3rd cycle of ischemia-reperfusion than baseline HF (P = 0.02). Intermittent arm ischemia was accompanied by vasodilatation of another artery and enhancement of parasympathetic activity. Those effects may play an important role in the mechanism of RIPC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-513
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physiological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011


  • Autonomic nervous system
  • Ischemia-reperfusion
  • Ischemic heart disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology


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