In this study, we developed and tested a new procedure for measuring microcirculatory blood pressures above heart level in humans. Capillary and postcapillary venule blood pressures were measured directly in 13 human subjects by use of the servo-nulling micropressure technique adapted for micropuncture of lip capillaries. Pressure waveforms were recorded in 40 separate capillary vessels and 14 separate postcapillary venules over periods ranging from 5 to 64 s. Localization and determination of capillary and postcapillary vessels were ascertained anatomically before pressure measurements. Capillary pressure was 33.2 ± 1.5 (SE) mmHg in lips of subjects seated upright. Repeated micropunctures of the same vessel gave an average coefficient of variation of 0.072. Postcapillary venule pressure was 18.9 ± 1.6 mmHg. This procedure produces a direct and reproducible means of measuring microvascular blood pressures in a vascular bed above heart level in humans.
- postcapillary venule pressure
- servo-nulling technique
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)