Sublingual glyceryl trinitrate and the peripheral thermal responses in normal and cold-sensitive individuals

Katrina Hope, Clare Eglin, Frank Golden, Mike Tipton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Non-freezing cold injury (NFCI) is a prevalent, but largely undiagnosed and poorly understood syndrome afflicting many who, as part of their work or leisure, expose their extremities to cold temperatures. The long term sequelae of NFCI are hyperhidrosis, cold-sensitivity and pain; these can last a lifetime. We tested the hypothesis that, in comparison with a placebo, sublingual glyceryl trinitrate (GTN) would increase the peripheral microcirculation during and after a mild cold challenge of individuals who had not been diagnosed with NFCI, but were cold-sensitive. Naive participants were categorised into two cohort groups: control (n=7) or cold-sensitive (n=6). All participants undertook a standardised two minute cold exposure of their right foot while toe skin temperature (Tsk; infra-red thermograms) and blood flow (toe pad laser Doppler) were measured. GTN increased the rate of rewarming and absolute Tsk of the coldest toe after the cold challenge in cold-sensitive individuals. GTN also increased the blood flow in the great toe during rewarming in some cold-sensitive individuals. We accept our hypothesis and suggest that the impairment in the vasodilatory response seen in individuals with cold-sensitivity can be overcome by the use of GTN, an endothelial-independent NO donor, and thereby improve the rewarming of cooled peripheral tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-89
JournalMicrovascular Research
Early online date23 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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