Research Article

Effects of prostaglandin E1 on microvascular haemodynamics in progressive systemic sclerosis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982; 285 doi: (Published 11 December 1982) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1982;285:1688
  1. M F Martin,
  2. J E Tooke


    The effects of prostaglandin E1 infusion on nailfold capillary haemodynamics were studied in eight patients with Raynaud's phenomenon secondary to progressive systemic sclerosis. Using a modified Landis microinjection technique the mean (+/- SEM) transcapillary pressure gradient was increased during and six weeks after infusion by 13.9 +/- 3.2 cm H2O (p less than 0.05) and 5.5 +/- 2.5 cm H2O (p less than 0.05) respectively. Capillary red cell velocity measured in two patients by video television microscopy also increased during and after infusion with prostaglandin E1. Six patients claimed subjective benefit and in three their ulcers healed. These findings support the observed beneficial effect of prostaglandin E1 and suggest that it improves the nutritive capillary circulation by lowering precapillary resistance.