Usefulness of fingertip skin temperature for examining peripheral circulatory disturbances of vibrating tool operators

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1986 Aug;12(4 Spec No):245-8. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.2143.


The data on skin temperature obtained in a cold provocation test (immersing one hand in water at 10 degrees C for 10 min) were analyzed to confirm their usefulness for examining the peripheral circulatory functions of vibrating tool operators. Under room temperatures from 20 to 23 degrees C in winter, the skin temperatures after the end of provocation of the VWF (vibration-induced white finger) group were generally significantly lower than those of the age-matched non-VWF and reference groups, and the non-VWF operators with over 5,000 h of chain-saw experience showed significantly lower skin temperatures 5 and 10 min after provocation than the age-matched referents. In this study skin temperature was used as a screening test for VWF. The highest sensitivity (91.1%) was obtained at 19.0 degrees C at the fifth minute after the end of the provocation, and the highest specificity (93.3%) at 15.5 degrees C at the third minute after provocation, both the sensitivity and specificity being over 70% and the correct diagnosis rate being over 80% among the screening levels.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cold Temperature
  • Fingers / blood supply*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Occupations
  • Raynaud Disease / diagnosis
  • Raynaud Disease / etiology*
  • Skin Temperature*
  • Syndrome
  • Vibration / adverse effects*