Peripheral vascular disease is common but its treatment is unsatisfactory. Generalised vasodilatation does not improve localised ischaemia.1 Other approaches that have been tried include changing the metabolism of ischaemic cells so that they can function better at the same oxygen tension, selectively dilating the vessels supplying the ischaemic zone, and altering the flow properties of the blood when these limit flow in the ischaemic area. Certainly a reduction in viscosity can produce clinical improvement.2
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