Clinical investigation of skin microcirculation

Dermatology. 1993;186(1):6-11. doi: 10.1159/000247295.


Skin microcirculation is rather complex. The skin viability depends upon the nutritional circulation, which cannot be assessed by conventional macrocirculatory methods that evaluate total blood supply. The indisputable advantage of the microcirculatory methods is to provide information directly in diseased skin areas and assess the effectiveness of vasoactive drugs where they are supposed to act. Several techniques are available today to evaluate the skin microcirculation. Among them, capillaroscopy and transcutaneous measurement of the partial oxygen pressure are of special interest because they provide information which is directly useful in clinical practice. Other techniques remain experimental. In this paper, the main microcirculatory techniques are reviewed and their clinical implications discussed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Flow Velocity
  • Blood Gas Monitoring, Transcutaneous
  • Capillaries
  • Coloring Agents
  • Humans
  • Laser-Doppler Flowmetry
  • Microcirculation
  • Pressure
  • Skin / blood supply*
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / diagnosis
  • Skin Diseases, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Skin Physiological Phenomena
  • Skin Temperature
  • Xenon Radioisotopes


  • Coloring Agents
  • Xenon Radioisotopes