A new study completed by researchers in Japan shows how a non-invasive test can measure the peripheral circulatory problems in women who suffer from primary or secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon. Researchers have discovered that they can monitor circulatory function by using laser-Doppler flowmetry, a noninvasive technique, to measure blood flow in the fingers. Typically, Laser-Doppler flowmetry is used to monitor changes at the skin’s surface, however it is also an effective way to measure changes in deep vessels and subsequent finger blood flow.
The Japanese study measured peripheral circulatory function in women with primary and secondary Raynaud’s compared to women without the disease. The women were asked to dunk their hands in cold water for a specific amount of time then readings were taken to measure finger skin temperature and blood flow. These tests turned out to be accurate ways to predict Raynaud’s phenomenon at least 82-85% of the time.
Initial skin temperature measurements of the fingers who were in the primary Raynaud’s group were lower compared with the two other groups. Those with primary Raynaud’s showed an average temperature of 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower than the control group. When each subject submerged a hand in cold water for one minute, they all experienced about a 50-degree (Fahrenheit) drop in temperature. However, the recovery rate of those in the primary Raynaud’s group was lower than the other two groups.
This study shows that these non-invasive means of testing can provide a benefit to those with Raynaud’s or those who have yet to be diagnosed by monitoring changes in peripheral circulatory function in patients. The primary benefit of this testing is a higher probability of diagnosis of primary or secondary Raynaud’s.