Traumatic vasospastic disease in chain-saw operators.
Raynaud's phenomenon is commonly induced in chain-saw operators by vibration; the hand guiding the tool is the more severely affected. The condition tends to persist after use of the chain-saw is stopped but compensation is rarely sought. Among 17 cases of Raynaud's phenomenon in lumberjacks the condition was found to be related to use of the chain-saw in 14, 10 of whom had to give up their work in colder weather because the disease was so disabling. Two criteria essential to establish the condition as vibration-induced Raynaud's phenomenon are the presence of symptoms for at least 2 years and a history of at least 1 year's constant use of the chain-saw. Careful physical examination and simple tests of vascular function will provide objective evidence of permanent damage by which the patients may be classified and compensated. (+info)
Different factors influencing the expression of Raynaud's phenomenon in men and women.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the risk profile for Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is different between men and women. METHODS: In this cross-sectional study of 800 women and 725 men participating in the Framingham Offspring Study, the association of age, marital status, smoking, alcohol use, diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia with prevalent RP was examined in men and women separately, after adjusting for relevant confounders. RESULTS: The prevalence of RP was 9.6% (n = 77) in women and 5.8% (n = 42) in men. In women, marital status and alcohol use were each associated with prevalent RP (for marital status adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.3, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.4-3.9; for alcohol use OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.0-5.2), whereas these factors were not associated with RP in men (marital status OR 1.4, 95% CI 0.6-3.5; alcohol use OR 1.0, 95% CI 0.2-4.4). In men, older age (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.0-5.2) and smoking (OR 2.6, 95% CI 1.1-6.3) were associated with prevalent RP; these factors were not associated with RP in women (older age OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.4-1.6; smoking OR 0.7, 95% CI 0.4-1.1). Diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolemia were not associated with RP in either sex. CONCLUSION: The results indicate that risk factors for RP differ between men and women. Age and smoking were associated with RP in men only, while the associations of marital status and alcohol use with RP were observed in women only. These findings suggest that different mechanisms influence the expression of RP in men and women. (+info)
Increased interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) levels produced in vitro by alloactivated T lymphocytes in systemic sclerosis and Raynaud's phenomenon.
The aim of the present study was to analyse the in vitro proliferation and cytokine production by alloantigen-stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) obtained from patients affected by systemic sclerosis (SSc) and patients with Raynaud's phenomenon (RP). In SSc patients the proliferation of PBMC stimulated in vitro with alloantigens was significantly increased compared with healthy subjects, while no differences were observed for RP patients. Lymphocytes from SSc patients also produced larger amounts of IFN-gamma compared with healthy controls. However, patients with clinically active disease had lower IFN-gamma levels than those found in clinically stable patients. Patients affected by RP showed significantly higher levels of IFN-gamma than healthy subjects. Analysis at the clonal level of the lymphocyte subsets involved in alloantigen stimulation in one patient affected by active SSc, and one subject with RP confirmed the results obtained using PBMC. In particular, in the RP patient but not in the SSc patient, we observed a population of CD4+ T cells which proliferated to alloantigens in vitro and produced high levels of IFN-gamma. We suggest that T lymphocytes producing high levels of IFN-gamma might play a protective role in RP patients and in established scleroderma. (+info)
Activation of microvascular pericytes in autoimmune Raynaud's phenomenon and systemic sclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the temporal and spatial relationship between platelet-derived growth factor beta (PDGFbeta) receptors, PDGF-AB/BB, and activated pericytes across the Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and systemic sclerosis (SSc; scleroderma) disease spectrum. METHODS: Monoclonal antibodies against PDGFbeta receptors, PDGF-AB/BB, and high molecular weight-melanoma-associated antigen (HMW-MAA), a marker for activated pericytes, were used to immunohistochemically analyze serial sections of skin biopsy tissue from patients with RP and from scleroderma patients. To delineate cell-specific PDGFbeta receptor expression, double immunofluorescence-stained sections were analyzed using computer-aided image analysis and confocal microscopy. RESULTS: PDGFbeta receptor-expressing cells and HMW-MAA-expressing pericytes were found in biopsy samples from autoimmune RP patients and in both early fibrotic and early nonfibrotic scleroderma skin, but not in normal or primary RP or late-stage scleroderma skin. PDGF-AB/BB was expressed within the epidermis, at the epidermal/dermal junction, and by dermal macrophages. Analysis of juxtaposed serial sections revealed an increased frequency of receptor expression in microvessels from autoimmune RP and early scleroderma skin (P < 0.01). Double-labeling studies using confocal microscopy showed that, in vivo, PDGFbeta receptors were predominantly expressed by microvascular pericytes from both autoimmune RP and early scleroderma skin. CONCLUSION: PDGFbeta receptors are expressed by activated microvascular pericytes in patients with autoimmune RP and in early SSc patients, but not in those with primary RP or late-stage scleroderma. These findings suggest that features of autoimmune RP are distinct from those of primary RP, and that microvascular pericytes may be an important link between chronic microvascular damage and fibrosis. (+info)
Cardiovascular responses evoked by mild cool stimuli in primary Raynaud's disease: the role of endothelin.
In control subjects and in subjects with primary Raynaud's disease, sudden sound evokes the pattern of the alerting response, which includes cutaneous vasoconstriction and vasodilatation in forearm muscle. However, whereas this pattern of response habituates on repetition of the sound stimulus in control subjects, both cutaneous vasoconstriction and muscle dilatation persist in subjects with primary Raynaud's disease. The aim of the present study was to test whether a similar disparity exists between control subjects and those with primary Raynaud's disease for the response to mild cool stimuli, and whether the cutaneous response is accompanied by the release of endothelin-1 (ET-1). In nine subjects with primary Raynaud's disease and in nine matched controls, the left hand was placed in cool water at 16 degrees C for 2 min five times on each of three experimental sessions on days 1, 3 and 5, with blood being taken from the venous drainage of the cooled hand before and at the end of the second session. In response to the first cool stimulus in Session 1, the subjects with primary Raynaud's disease showed a decrease in digital cutaneous vascular conductance (DCVC) in both the right and left hands, as indicated by a laser Doppler recording of erythrocyte (red cell) flux divided by arterial pressure, and six of the nine subjects showed an increase in forearm vascular conductance (FVC), as indicated by forearm blood flow measured by plethysmography divided by arterial pressure. On repetition of the stimulus in Session 1, there was no change in the magnitude of the increase in FVC, but the evoked decreases in DCVC became more prolonged in both the right and the left hand. Similar responses occurred in Sessions 2 and 3; in Session 2, the ET-1 concentration increased from a baseline value of 2.15+/-0.26 fM to 2.72+/-0.37 fM after five stimuli. There was no habituation of the increase in FVC over Sessions 1, 2 and 3, judging from the mean changes in each session. Control subjects also showed a decrease in DCVC in both hands, and in eight out of nine subjects there was an increase in FVC in response to the first cool stimulus in Session 1. However, on repetition of the stimulus in Session 1, the increase in FVC habituated, while there was no prolongation of the decrease in DCVC; in addition, the ET-1 concentration did not change in Session 2 in response to the stimulus (2.07+/-0.28 compared with 2.29+/-0.30 fM). Further, the increase in FVC habituated over the three sessions, such that there was a mean decrease in FVC in Session 3. These results indicate that, in subjects with primary Raynaud's disease, there is impairment of the ability of the central nervous system to allow habituation of the cardiovascular components of the alerting response evoked by mild cooling, as with the response to sound. We propose that persistence of the cutaneous vasoconstriction of the alerting response, coupled with increased release of ET-1 secondary to vasoconstriction, prolongs such vasoconstriction and eventually leads to vasospasm. (+info)
Impaired cholinergic dilator response of resistance arteries isolated from patients with Raynaud's disease.
AIMS: We examined the effect of cooling on the response to the endothelium-dependent and -independent dilators, acetylcholine (ACh) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP), respectively, in human microvessels in vitro, and compared the responses between Raynaud's disease (RD) patients and controls, in order to assess the pathogenic role of the endothelium in RD. METHODS: Subcutaneous resistance arteries were dissected from gluteal fat biopsies taken from patients with RD (n=18) and from age-and sex-matched control subjects (n=17). Vessels were cannulated in a small vessel arteriograph, in which a pressure of 50 mmHg was maintained across the vessel wall. Cumulative concentration-response curves for ACh (10-10-10-4 m ) and SNP (10-10-10-3 m ) were generated in vessels at either 37 degrees C or 24 degrees C, with endothelium intact for ACh and removed for SNP (n=6 per group). RESULTS: Neither dilator showed significant differences in sensitivity when comparing responses between vessels from RD patients and controls, at either temperature, but the maximal relaxation to ACh was depressed in vessels from RD patients compared with controls at 37 degrees C (Emax=45+/-13 in RD vs 89+/-4 in controls; P=0.004). CONCLUSIONS: These results support the hypothesis that impaired endothelium-dependent vasodilatation is involved in the pathophysiology of RD. (+info)
Probucol improves symptoms and reduces lipoprotein oxidation susceptibility in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon.
OBJECTIVE: Reactive oxygen species have been implicated in the pathogenesis of inflammatory and vascular disease. We have undertaken a controlled trial to evaluate probucol, a synthetic antioxidant, as a potential therapy for Raynaud's phenomenon. METHODS: The study cohort included patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc; n = 20), primary Raynaud's phenomenon (n = 15) or 'autoimmune Raynaud's' (n = 5). Patients were allocated to receive either probucol (500 mg daily) or nifedipine (20 mg daily) for 12 weeks. Clinical and biochemical variables at baseline were compared with those at completion of treatment. Evaluation included assessment of Raynaud's attack frequency and severity by visual analogue scale, measurement of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation lag time, and plasma concentrations of cholesterol, triglyceride, vitamin E and vitamin C. RESULTS: There was a significant reduction of both the frequency and severity of Raynaud's attacks in the patients who received probucol, but not in the control group. LDL oxidation lag time, reflecting in vitro susceptibility to oxidation, was also increased by probucol therapy and serum cholesterol levels were significantly reduced. Similar changes were observed in both SSc- and non-SSc-associated Raynaud's cases. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that probucol may be useful for the symptomatic treatment of Raynaud's phenomenon and also reduces LDL oxidation susceptibility. Since oxidized lipoproteins may mediate vascular damage in SSc, the use of probucol could have additional disease-modifying benefits. Based upon the results of this pilot study, further evaluation of this novel form of therapy is warranted. (+info)
Raynaud's syndrome in workers who use vibrating pneumatic air knives.
PURPOSE: The use of vibrating tools has been shown to cause Raynaud's syndrome (RS) in a variety of workers, including those who use chain saws, chippers, and grinders. The diagnosis of RS in workers who use vibrating tools is difficult to document objectively. We studied a patient cohort with RS caused by the use of a vibrating pneumatic air knife (PAK) for removal of automobile windshields and determined our ability to document RS in these workers by means of digital hypothermic challenge testing (DHCT), a vascular laboratory study that evaluates digital blood pressure response to cooling. METHODS: Sixteen male autoglass workers (mean age, 36 years) with RS were examined by means of history, physical examination, arm blood pressures, digital photoplethysmography, screening serologic studies for underlying connective tissue disorder, and DHCT. RESULTS: No patient had RS before they used a PAK. The mean onset of RS (color changes, 100%; pain, 93%; parathesias, 75%) with cold exposure was 3 years (range, 1.5 to 5 years) after initial PAK use (mean estimated PAK use, 2450 hours). Fifty-six percent of workers smoked cigarettes. The findings of the physical examination, arm blood pressures, digital photoplethysmography, and serologic testing were normal in all patients. At 10 degrees C cooling with digital cuff and patient cooling blanket, a significant decrease in digital blood pressure was shown by means of DHCT in 100% of test fingers versus normothermic control fingers (mean decrease, 75%; range, 25% to 100%; normal response, less than 17%; P <.001). The mean follow-up period was 18 months (range, 1 to 47 months). No patient continued to use the PAK, but symptoms of RS were unchanged in 69% and worse in 31%. CONCLUSION: PAK use is a possible cause of vibration-induced RS. The presence of RS in workers who use the PAK was objectively confirmed by means of DHCT. Cessation of PAK use in the short term did not result in symptomatic improvement. (+info)