Assessing complexity of skin blood flow oscillations in response to locally applied heating and pressure in rats: Implications for pressure ulcer risk

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Abstract

The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of local heating on the complexity of skin blood flow oscillations (BFO) under prolonged surface pressure in rats. Eleven Sprague-Dawley rats were studied: 7 rats underwent surface pressure with local heating (Δt=10 C) and 4 rats underwent pressure without heating. A pressure of 700 mmHg was applied to the right trochanter area of rats for 3 h. Skin blood flow was measured using laser Doppler flowmetry. The loading period was divided into nonoverlapping 30 min epochs. For each epoch, multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis (MDFA) was utilized to compute DFA coefficients and complexity of endothelial related metabolic, neurogenic, and myogenic frequencies of BFO. The results showed that under surface pressure, local heating led to a significant decrease in DFA coefficients of myogenic frequency during the initial epoch of loading period, a sustained decrease in complexity of myogenic frequency, and a significantly higher degree of complexity of metabolic frequency during the later phase of loading period. Surrogate tests showed that the reduction in complexity of myogenic frequency was associated with a loss of nonlinearity whereas increased complexity of metabolic frequency was associated with enhanced nonlinearity. Our results indicate that increased metabolic activity and decreased myogenic response due to local heating manifest themselves not only in magnitudes of metabolic and myogenic frequencies but also in their structural complexity. This study demonstrates the feasibility of using complexity analysis of BFO to monitor the ischemic status of weight-bearing skin and risk of pressure ulcers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4905-4915
Number of pages11
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Volume392
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 15 2013

Keywords

  • Complexity
  • Loading pressure
  • Local heating
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Skin blood flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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