Ischemia of extremities is responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality and the pathophysiology of this condition warrants further study. The purpose of this review is to discuss techniques used in the evaluation of limb ischemia and reperfusion. It is of critical importance to study limb blood flow distribution to the microcirculation where nutritive exchange occurs. Skeletal muscle ischemia progresses to infarction when critical deficits of cellular metabolites develop, which mandates that studies be focused at the cellular level. It is clear that the adverse effects of ischemia can be exacerbated by a reperfusion injury to the endothelium of the microvasculature. Investigators wishing to study limb ischemia have a wide spectrum of methodology and established models available to use in improving the understanding of the complex events of ischemic injury.
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