Studies of Vasospasm
I. The Use of Glyceryl Trinitrate as a Diagnostic Test of Peripheral Pulses
In the course of a physical examination one is often confronted with the question whether the inability to palpate a pulse in a usual location is the result of arterial spasm, occlusive arterial disease, or an aberrant location of the artery. Evidence is presented that the sublingual administration of glyceryl trinitrate (nitroglycerin) will frequently solve this problem. If the absent or markedly diminished pulse becomes bounding and objective tests confirm this, it can be concluded that the reduced pulsation was due to spasm of the artery under study. This is a simple test readily applied in clinical practice.
- © 1953 American Heart Association, Inc.