Vol 18, No 1 (2011)
Original articles
Published online: 2011-02-08

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Fractal dimensions of skin microcirculation flow in subjects with familial predisposition or newly diagnosed hypertension

Barbara Gryglewska, Mirosław Nęcki, Marcin Żelawski, Marcin Cwynar, Tomasz Baron, Marian Mrozek, Tomasz Grodzicki
Cardiol J 2011;18(1):26-32.


Background: Fractal analysis has been shown to be capable of characterizing irregular time series generated in non-linear systems. Fluctuations in skin flow signals have a fractal nature, but to date there has been no analysis of subjects with hypertension. The aim of this study is to assess the fractal dimensions of skin microcirculation flows in subjects with a familial predisposition or newly diagnosed hypertension.
Methods: A four-minutes rest flow (RF), minimal flow (BZ) during three-minutes ischemia and eight-minutes heat flow (HF) were recorded (using laser Doppler flowmetry) in patients with untreated hypertension, and in normotensives with no [NT(-)] or with a familial predisposition to hypertension [NT(+)]. Average one-minute surface areas under the curve of flow records and box dimensions (D) were calculated. Anova Kruskall-Wallis, c2 statistic and multivariate reverse regression analysis were used for calculation.
Results: We studied 70 people (average age 36.1 ± 10.3 years, 39 men). Hypertensives (n = 31) had significantly higher values of both clinical blood pressure and 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure, body mass index, glucose, triglycerides and insulin than the NT(-), (n = 17) and NT(+), (n = 22) groups. Mean values of flows and surface area under the curve of RF, BZ, HF records, D RF and D HF were comparable in studied groups, but D BZ differed (1.13 ± ± 0.05 vs 1.15 ± 0.05 vs 1.11 ± 0.05, respectively; p = 0.04). A family history of hypertension, insulin level and variability of 24-hour diastolic blood pressure were significant predictors of D BZ lower values in the multiple regression model.
Conclusions: Subjects with a familial predisposition to hypertension reveal altered homeodynamics of microvascular flow, with diminished chaotic ischemic flow. (Cardiol J 2011; 18, 1: 26-32)

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