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Changes in skin blood flow following acute intravenous alcohol in social drinkers

Monday, October 24, 2011 — Poster Session I

Noon – 2:00 p.m.

Natcher Conference Center




  • V Vatsalya
  • M Zametkin
  • B Stangl
  • V Ramchandani


The objective of this study was to determine the precise relationship of acute IV alcohol infusion on changes in skin blood flow and subjective responses in social drinkers. Data were obtained from 24 male and female social drinkers undergoing computer-assisted alcohol self-administration study. Skin blood flow was measured continuously using laser doppler flow meter, with probe placed on the subject’s finger-tip or ear-lobe. Perfusion measures were obtained at baseline, 10 min and 20 min during the priming phase of the study, when all subjects received equivalent exposure to a peak breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) of 25 mg% at 10 min. Subjective response was measured using the Drug Effects Questionnaire. There was a significant increase in skin blood flow from baseline (Mean±SD: 91.6±135.0 Perfusion Units (PU)) to the 10 min (120.3±152.6 PU, p=0.029) and 20 min (134.2±186.6 PU, p=0.021). There was a significant correlation between percent change in skin blood flow and subjective perception of “feeling drug effects” at the peak BrAC (r=0.376, p=0.024). The increased skin blood flow following acute alcohol exposure is consistent with the known peripheral vasodilatory effect of alcohol. This acute hemodynamic effect may be associated with subjective perceptions of alcohol’s effects.

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