Induced vasodilation in the treatment of posttraumatic digital cold intolerance

J Hand Surg Am. 1986 May;11(3):382-7. doi: 10.1016/s0363-5023(86)80146-0.


Induced vasodilation was used in 10 patients with posttraumatic cold intolerance. Eight of 10 patients improved. Before the treatment program and cold exposure, the injured digits were an average of 1.5 degrees C cooler than the control digits. After cold exposure, the mean temperature difference was 3.2 degrees C. At the conclusion of the study, the temperature differences between the injured and control digits were an average of 0.1 degree C before cold stress and 1.0 degree C after. Associated with this measured improvement was an improvement in cold tolerance. This was maintained 1 year later by 67% of the patients. One year after the completion of this study, nine patients were treated at home on a less controlled program with improvement in 67% of patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Body Temperature
  • Cold Temperature / adverse effects*
  • Conditioning, Classical
  • Finger Injuries / complications*
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Frostbite / complications*
  • Humans
  • Vasodilation*