Impaired peripheral vasomotion in diabetes

Kevin B. Stansberry, Shane A. Shapiro, Michael A. Hill, Patricia M. Mcnirr, Martin D. Meyer, Aaron I. Vinik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

108 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - To test the hypothesis that vasomotion, the rhythmic contraction exhibited by small arteries and arterioles, is impaired in diabetic subjects compared with healthy control subjects. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We mathematically modeled the oscillations in laser Doppler microvascular measurements taken from the pulpar surface of the index finger in 20 healthy control subjects and 20 age-matched diabetic subjects (8 with type I and 12 with type II diabetes). The mean duration of diabetes was 17.1 ± 2.3 years, and mean HbA1, was9.1 ± 0.4%. Blood flow was measured for 5 min as subjects rested quietly in a closed room. Fast Fourier transformation was performed to provide the frequency power spectrum of each recording. Amplitude of vasomotion was correlated with six quantitative measurements of neuropathy. RESULTS - Diabetic subjects had impaired low-frequency oscillation vasomotion in 75% of age-matched patients (15 of 20 patients), with mean amplitudes of 24.9 ± 6.4 vs. 129.0 ± 33.2 (P < 0.0039). Of six somatic and autonomic neuropathy only the warm thermal sensory threshold correlated significantly with the mean amplitude of vasomotion (r = -0.75, P < 0.0009). CONCLUSIONS - Patterns of peripheral vasomotion are clearly disordered in diabetes. The loss of low-frequency oscillations observed here suggestes a peripheral vascular abnormality that extends past the capillary network to arterial vessels. It is uncertain whether the accompanying small unmyelinated nerve C-fiber dysfunction is a cause or consequence of the impaired microvascular function. Measurement of vasomotion may prove useful as a novel test for peripheral neurovascular function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-721
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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