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Circulatory disturbances of the foot in vibration syndrome

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Circulatory disturbances of the foot in patients with vibration syndrome were studied by measuring the skin temperature of both index fingers and great toes through a 3-min immersion of the right foot in cold water at 10°C. Subjects included 11 patients with vibration-induced white finger (VWF) [VWF(+) group], 12 patients without VWF [VWF(−) group], and 20 healthy referents not exposed to vibration. Patients were all male chain saw operators who had scarcely been exposed to vibration of the foot. The prevalence of coldness felt in the upper and lower extremities was > 90% in the VWF(+) group, about 60% in the VWF(−) group, and < 10% in the referents. The extent of the coldness was greatest in the VWF (+) group. The skin temperature of both fingers and toes was lowest in the VWF(+) group, somewhat higher in the VWF(−) group, and highest in the referents both before and after immersion. These findings indicate that patients with vibration syndrome, especially those with VWF, have circulatory disturbances in the foot as well as in the hand. The disturbances in the foot may be related to long-term repeated vasoconstriction in the foot induced by hand-arm vibration through the sympathetic nervous system.

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Correspondence to Hisataka Sakakibara.

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Sakakibara, H., Hashiguchi, T., Furuta, M. et al. Circulatory disturbances of the foot in vibration syndrome. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 63, 145–148 (1991).

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Key words

  • Circulation
  • Coldness
  • Foot
  • Skin temperature
  • Vibration