The purpose of this study was to evaluate cutaneous blood flow in the human body to better establish normal flow ranges and to determine whether the location, side of the body, sex, and age affect the flow range at seven different sites. From March 1993 to February 1994 a Periflux system 4001 laser Doppler flowmeter was used to measure the cutaneous microflow circulation of 1,680 selected points in 120 volunteers. The mean normal cutaneous blood flow of 120 volunteers was between 4 and 9 perfusion units (PU) except in the head, neck, hand, and foot. Mean cutaneous blood flow measurements were as follows: the upper arm, 6.6 ± 1.20 PU (mean ± SE); the forearm, 6.7 ± 1.95 PU; the thorax, 7.1 ± 1.72 PU; the flank, 6.3 ± 1.23 PU; the abdomen, 5.3 ± 1.79 PU; the thigh, 4.8 ± 1.34 PU; the lower leg, 4.6 ± 1.39 PU (p < 0.05). The blood flow of the thorax was highest and was 54% higher than the lower leg. The group of teenagers had the highest cutaneous blood flow, with an average value of 6.9 ± 0.62 PU. The group of subjects in their sixties proved to have the lowest cutaneous blood flow—32% less than the teenagers. Gender differences were not noted. There were no significant differences in blood flow in regard to the side of the body.
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