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Influence of Amyl Nitrite on the Blood Circulation in the Brain 

Influence of Amyl Nitrite on the Blood Circulation in the Brain
Chapter:
Influence of Amyl Nitrite on the Blood Circulation in the Brain
Author(s):

Marcus E. Raichle

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199358984.003.0012
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date: 08 April 2020

This chapter shows the influence of amyl nitrite on the blood circulation in the brain. Amyl nitrite has a powerful effect on the state of the blood vessels by causing them to instantly dilate, producing flushing of the entire face while increasing the heart rate. This occurs without affecting consciousness or cerebral functions. An experiment on Bertino showed that inhaling amyl nitrite vapor caused the cerebral pulse to be stronger and the cerebral volume to increase, independent of respiratory movements. The changes in the cerebral pulse in Bertino with those in the heart and blood vessels in the forearm under the influence of amyl nitrite are compared. The author describes an experiment involving prolonged exposure of Bertino to amyl nitrite. The dilated cerebral vessels appeared to have been paralyzed, an effect independent of respiratory movements.

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