The effect of warmth or/and vitamin E supplementation on forearm blood flow and forearm vascular resistance in sickle cell and non sickle cell anaemia subjects

Niger Postgrad Med J. 2003 Mar;10(1):6-12.


The effects of warmth stimulation and/or supplementation with vitamin E (300 mg/day for 6 weeks) on forearm blood flow (FBF) and forearm vascular resistance (FVR) were measured in 8 sickle cell anaemia (SCA) (mean age = 22.8 + 0.8 years) and 11 non sickle cell anaemia (NSCA) subjects (mean age = 23.2 + 1.1 years) of both sexes. Warmth stimulation was induced by immersing the left foot in warm water at 400C for 2 minutes. Forearm blood flow was measured with the venous occlusion plethysmography method. Warmth increased FBF (p <0.01 in each group) and reduced FVR (p <0.05) in NSCA subjects. The change in FBF was greater (p < 0.05) in the NSCA subjects than in the SCA subjects. Supplementation with vitamin E reduced systolic blood pressure (SBP), diastolic blood pressure (DBP) and mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) (p < 0.001 in each case) in the NSCA subjects but had little or no effect on the SCA subjects. Vitamin E increased FBF in NSCA subjects (p < 0.05) and SCA subjects (p < 0.01) and decreased FVR in both groups (p < 0.05 in NSCA and p < 0.01 in SCA subjects). The change in FVR seen in the NSCA subjects was less (p < 0.01) than the change in SCA subjects. After supplementation with vitamin E, warmth further decreased SBP (p < 0.01 in each group) and FVR (p < 0.01 in each case) and increased FBF in both groups (p < 0.01 respectively). The changes caused by warmth after vitamin E supplementation on the blood pressure parameters, FBF and FVR were similar in the two groups of subjects.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell* / physiopathology
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Forearm / blood supply*
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regional Blood Flow / drug effects
  • Vascular Resistance* / drug effects
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Vitamin E