Vasodilation

Vasodilation refers to the widening of blood vessels resulting from relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, particularly in the large veins, large arteries, and smaller arterioles. The process is essentially the opposite of vasoconstriction, which is the narrowing of blood vessels.

When blood vessels dilate, the flow of blood is increased due to a decrease in vascular resistance. Therefore, dilation of arterial blood vessels (mainly the arterioles) causes a decrease in blood pressure. The response may be intrinsic (due to local processes in the surrounding tissue) or extrinsic (due to hormones or the nervous system). Additionally, the response may be localized to a specific organ (depending on the metabolic needs of a particular tissue, as during strenuous exercise), or it may be systemic (seen throughout the entire systemic circulation).

Drugs that cause vasodilation are termed vasodilators.

Read more about VasodilationFunction, Examples and Individual Mechanisms

Other articles related to "vasodilation":

Wound Healing - Inflammatory Phase - Vasoconstriction and Vasodilation
... lasts five to ten minutes and is followed by vasodilation, a widening of blood vessels, which peaks at about 20 minutes post-wounding ... Vasodilation is the result of factors released by platelets and other cells ... The main factor involved in causing vasodilation is histamine ...
Prostacyclin Receptor - Transduction - In Vasodilation
... In vasodilation, the PKA activity causes phosphorylation of MLCK, decreasing its activity, resulting in dephosphorylation of MLC of myosin ... The smooth muscle relaxation leads to vasodilation ...
Implementing Microneurography - Vasodilation
... was used to investigate their role in neurogenic vasodilation ... Human neurogenic vasodilation was found to differ from rodent neurogenic vasodilation in that it can only be elicited by stimulation of C-mechano-insensitive ...
Examples and Individual Mechanisms - Other Mechanisms of Vasodilation - Therapeutic Uses
... Vasodilators are used to treat conditions such as hypertension, where the patient has an abnormally high blood pressure, as well as angina, congestive heart failure, erectile dysfunction and where maintaining a lower blood pressure reduces the patient's risk of developing other cardiac problems ... Flushing may be a physiological response to vasodilators ...
Distributive Shock - Examples
... shock - This is caused by an overwhelming infection leading to vasodilation, such as by Gram negative bacteria i.e ... Although tissues are being hyperperfused due to the massive vasodilation, the hypotensive state of the individual, paired with the massive inflammation found in septic shock, causes a reduction in tissular oxygen ... or foreign protein causing the release of histamine which causes widespread vasodilation ...