alexa Evaluation of collateral circulation of the hand.
Anesthesiology

Anesthesiology

Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research

Author(s): Fuhrman TM, Pippin WD, Talmage LA, Reilley TE

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Abstract In 1929, Edgar V. Allen described a noninvasive evaluation of the patency of the arterial supply to the hand of patients with thromboangitis obliterans (Am J Med Sci 1929; 178:237). In the early 1950s, Allen's test was modified (Wright I. Vascular diseases in clinical practice. Chicago: Year Book Medical Publishers, 1952) for use as a test of collateral circulation prior to arterial cannulation. This test involves the examiner occluding the patient's ulnar and radial arteries while the patient makes a fist, causing the hand to blanch. The patient is then asked to extend the fingers. After the hand is open, the examiner releases the ulnar artery while continuing to maintain pressure on the radial artery. Adequate collateral circulation is felt to be indicated by return of normal color to the hand. The patient is instructed not to hyperextend the fingers when opening the hand. Hyperextension may cause a decrease in perfusion to the arch, possibly resulting in a false interpretation of the Allen test (Anesthesiology 1972;37:356). The modified Allen's test can be performed quickly and easily, but it is susceptible to error. (With Allen's original test, both hands were tested simultaneously. The patient clenched both fists tightly for 1 minute while the examiner compressed one artery of each hand. This method helps diagnose complete occlusion, just as Allen intended. The test was later modified, however, to evaluate the adequacy of collateral circulation. To perform the modified Allen's test, the examiner compresses both arteries while the patient's fist are clenched.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in J Clin Monit and referenced in Journal of Anesthesia & Clinical Research

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