Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12(5):439-447    pdf


Clinical aspects of the hand-arm vibration syndrome. A review.

by Pyykko I

At present it seems likely that the different components of the hand-arm vibration syndrome, eg, vibration-induced white finger (VWF), numbing of the hands and arms, muscular fatigue, and occasionally prevalent bone degeneration, may arise independently, and therefore they should be evaluated separately. Evidence of changes caused in the autonomic nervous functions of the body by local vibration is not conclusive. The vascular history should be confirmed objectively with a cold provocation test under laboratory conditions. In individual diagnostics it is useful to record (with modern plethysmographic techniques) the recovery of digital temperature, digital blood pressure, and flow after local cooling. Vibrotactile perception measurement seems to be suitable for group diagnosis. Much of the diagnostic weight for VWF can be obtained from accurate case histories, although, for early changes, the history may be atypical. The lack of simple objective tests for evaluating the hand-arm vibration syndrome makes it difficult to, eg, confirm the history of its different components objectively and estimate the extent of the disability it causes.