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Ludomir Stefańczyk, Bartłomiej Woźniakowski, Piotr Pietrzak, Agata Majos, Piotr Grzelak
Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(1): 121-128
Background: Determining the predisposition to vasospastic reactions in a function test is important at the earliest possible stage of diagnosis. Thermography is an acknowledged procedure for monitoring function tests; however, its availability is limited. The aim of this study was to compare the progression of the cold immersion test in a thermal picture and an US-CD examination with the flow assessment of the small blood vessels of the hand.
Material and Methods: A group of 16 women declaring high cold tolerance of their hands was compared with a group of 24 women reporting hand complaints when exposed to the cold. The subjects underwent a test in which they immersed their right hand in ice-cold water (0°C). Then images of the temperature distribution in the hand were recorded with a thermovisory camera. At the same time, spectral waveforms were registered in the proper palmar digital artery and in the radial artery at specified time intervals.
Results: Data analysis comprised temperature measurements at the level of the nail plate of the middle finger and at the wrist. There were differences between the groups at all the stages of the immersion test (efficient return of temperature to initial values in the reference group, delayed return in subjects with low tolerance to thermal stimuli). Flow resistance analysis using the Doppler method in the studied arteries revealed similar differences between the groups (swift flow normalization and efficient reperfusion in the reference group, higher flow resistance and low reperfusion in subjects with low tolerance to thermal stimuli).
Conclusions: Changes in the parameters of hand warmth during the immersion test assessed by thermography and changes in the flow parameters observed by Doppler sonography demonstrated similar progression, which suggests the equivalence of both methods. Doppler sonography may thus serve as a method of monitoring function tests to establish a predisposition to vasospasm.