Long-term follow-up study on patients with vibration-induced white finger (VWF)

J Occup Environ Med. 2002 Dec;44(12):1203-6. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200212000-00017.


The prognosis of vibration-induced white finger was investigated with a long follow-up period. From 1975 to 1994, 99 men with hand-arm vibration syndrome who received the annual compulsory examination at San-in Rosai Hospital were followed up for 15 years or longer. Based on the extent of finger-blanching attacks described in the medical records, they were classified according to the vascular stage of the Stockholm workshop scale. In our laboratory, finger systolic blood pressure (FSBP) measurement after finger cooling has been performed since 1989. We compared the stage classification with the results of FSBP measurement after finger cooling in the period 1989-1994. The stage 2 and stage 3 groups showed a significant decrease in FSBP% compared with the stage 0 group. The vascular stage classification based on subjective symptoms in this study was to a certain extent reliable. Although vibration-induced white finger symptoms tended to improve to some extent, 43.2% and 70.4% of patients with stage 2 and stage 3 at first examination, respectively, still suffered from finger blanching attacks after 15 years of observation. Blanching of fingers in advanced stages, especially stage 3, was found to be persistent many years after cessation of vibration exposure.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Circulation*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Female
  • Fingers*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Plethysmography
  • Skin Temperature
  • Vibration / adverse effects*