Arterial Insufficiency of the Hand Evaluated by Digital Blood Pressure and Arteriographic Findings

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SUMMARY In 80 hands with arterial occlusive disease, systolic blood pressure at the wrist and in all fingers was measured by photoelectric plethysmography. The correlation of such pressures with angiographic evidence of organic obstruction or the development of digital ischemic signs was studied. Digital blood pressure was normal in all 184 fingers in which there was at least one obstruction-free arterial path to and through the finger. Ischemic signs developed in only one. Of 203 fingers with occlusion in vessels in or leading to both sides of the finger, a decreased pressure was seen in 173 and a normal pressure in 30. Ischemic signs were observed in 132 of 173 fingers with a decreased pressure, and in two of 30 with a normal pressure. The clinical significance of measurement of digital blood pressure in arterial occlusive disease is discussed.

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