Research Article| Volume 76, ISSUE 3, P480-484, September 1970

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Skin blood flow in scleroderma

  • Jay D. Coffman
    Reprint requests: Jay D. Coffman, M.D., University Hospital, 750 Harrison Ave., Boston, Mass. 02118.
    From the Evans Memorial Department of Clinical Research, University Hospital, Boston University Medical Center Boston, Mass. U.S.A.
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      Blood flow in various involved skin areas and in forearm subcutaneous tissue in patients with scleroderma was measured by the disappearance rate of a radioisotope from a local depot. Although the averages for cutaneous blood flow in the foreheads and fingertips of patients were significantly decreased compared to those in normal subjects, normal disappearance rates were sometimes obtained from obviously involved sclerodermatous skin in these areas. Forehead blood vessels in patients with scleroderma did not show an increased response to reflex sympathetic nerve stimulation compared to normal subjects. Forearm skin and subcutaneous tissue were clinically involved in all but one patient; however, there was no significant difference in skin or subcutaneous blood flow between patients and normal subjects. Therefore, it seems that sclerodermatous skin does not necessarily have a decreased blood flow and that a decrease in nutritional capillary blood flow is not a primary fault in the disease.
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