We used a nonlinear computational analysis (called "multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis") to measure the change in complexity of sacral skin blood flow in people with complete and incomplete spinal cord injury (SCI). Changes in skin blood flow have shown promise for assessing the risk for pressure ulcers. Our results showed that people with SCI had a smaller maximal vasodilatory response than nondisabled control subjects. This impairment was related to decreased complexity in the metabolic and neurogenic controls of skin blood flow oscillations. Our findings demonstrated a new instrument for measuring blood flow under stress conditions that might help assess the risk for pressure ulcers.
Volume 48 Number 7, 2011
Pages 787 — 800
Last Reviewed or Updated Thursday, August 18, 2011 12:36 PM