Effects of environmental temperature on the venodilatory response to nitroglycerin

Joseph Gascho, D. Gehman, R. Brandt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The venodilatory response to nitroglycerin (0.8 mg sublingually) was measured in 10 healthy young male volunteers in a cool [24.3 ± 0.6°C skin temperature (T(sk))] and a warm environment (34.7 ± 0.2°C T(sk)). Nitroglycerin caused mean arterial pressure to fall and heart rate to rise in both the cool (105 ± 2 to 96 ± 3 mmHg; 55 ± 3 to 62 ± 3 beats/min) and the warm environment (87 ± 3 to 81 ± 3 mmHg; 66 ± 4 to 75 ± 3 beats/min), but the fall in pressure was greater in the cool than in the warm environment. Forearm blood flow was reduced and forearm vascular resistance elevated in the cool (117 ± 19 units; 1.15 ± 0.08 ml · 100 cc arm-1 · min-1) compared with the warm environment (15 ± 3 units; 8.60 ± 1.89 ml · 100 cc arm-1 · min-1). Nitroglycerin caused forearm vascular resistance to fall in the cool but had no effect in the warm environment. Venous distensibility (increase in venous volume per 30-mmHg increase in venous pressure) was twice as great in the warm as in the cool environment (3.90 ± 0.27 vs. 1.88 ± 0.23 ml/100 cc arm). However, the venodilatory effect of nitroglycerin was similar in the cool and warm environments (0.79 ± 0.10 vs. 0.67 ± 0.13 ml/100 cc arm, respectively). Arterioles are not dilated by nitroglycerin in the warmer environment, but the venodilatory effect of nitroglycerin is quantitatively similar in the two environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1843-1847
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1991

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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