Halpern, Alfred; Selman, David; Shaftel, Norman; Shaftel, Herbert E.; Kuhn, Paul H.; Samuels, Saul S.; Birch, Herbert G.
October 1960
Angiology;Oct1960 Part 2, Vol. 11 Issue 5, p460
Academic Journal
1. The effect of bowel function on the peripheral circulation was investigated in a group of normal and constipated subjects by observing the changes in arterial and venous pressure as well as in segmental blood flow. A study was also made of the effects of controlled straining on segmental blood flow, digital blood flow and peripheral vascular resistance. 2. The peripheral circulation is subjected to a variety of stresses during normal bowel function release of the strain there was a transient return of the blood flow toward control levels followed by a second diminution, after which a vasodilation occurred before the return of the resting state. In response to controlled straining efforts, the venous pressure rose proportionately to the magnitude of straining. 4. During controlled exertions, the digital blood flow and pulse volume showed a pattern of change similar to that of the segmental circulation. Again, a. vasoconstriction and a vasodilation were observed after the strain period. 5. Controlled straining efforts produced a marked rise in peripheral segmental and digital vascular resistance. The response was greater in the legs and toes than in the arms and fingers. This increased resistance terminated at the conclusion of the strain only to be followed by a sharp increase during the poststrain period. 6. Throughout the study, the fluctuations among the constipated group were of a greater magnitude and frequency than those observed among the normal subjects. This was a reflection of the greater and more profound straining efforts of the former group. 7. The implications of these findings with respect to the mobilization of peripheral thrombi and production of pulmonary embolism are discussed. The present findings emphasize the conclusion of our earlier study14 that, if tragic cardiovascular episodes associated with defecation are to be avoided, the immediate correction of constipation is of particular importance.


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