Raynaud’s Disease, also known as Raynaud’s Phenomenon and Raynaud’s Syndrome, is a fairly common disorder said to affect 3 – 20% of the population with symptoms including digital vasospasm of the extremities, capillary stagnation (resulting in discolouration), and finally reactive hyperaemia. These symptoms are commonly triggered by cold challenge or emotional stress. Endothelial dysfunction plays an important role in the pathogenesis of many vascular diseases, including Raynaud’s Disease and can be easily assessed using laser Doppler techniques in combination with a cold challenge. Cold is normally applied by submerging the hand or foot in cold water. The hand or foot is normally kept dry with a polythene glove or bag and the patient instructed to keep the hand open and moving slowly to get the full impact of the stimulus. Note: The same tests can also be applied to assess cold sensitivity in patients suffering from vibration white finger (or hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)), a secondary form of Raynaud’s.
Laser Doppler Imager
Large area, high resolution blood flow laser Doppler imaging