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August 1955

The Capillary System in Patients with Psychiatric Disorders: Increased "Capillary Blood Pressures" in Neurosis and Psychosis and Its Relation to Some Correlates of Anoxemia

Author Affiliations

Toronto, Canada

From the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto School of Medicine.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1955;74(2):137-143. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1955.02330140021004

Peripheral circulatory anomalies are notoriously common in mentally ill patients; they exist at the levels of structure and function and both at rest and in dynamic settings under stress. Clinically, the puffy, raw-beef, violaceous hands of some schizophrenic patients contrast vividly with the white, baby-soft, transparent peripheral pallor of others. In other psychiatric disorders, Raynaud-like syndromes are seen, and dermatographism, all grades of cyanosis, excessive sweating, marbled appearance of the skin, and disordered temperature control are frequently noted on physical examination. Experimentally, the morphological study of the skin capillaries by capillary microscopy has indicated structural peculiarities of these vessels sufficiently obvious to differentiate psychiatric patients from those in mental health, while techniques of finger plethysmography, oximetry, skin resistance, electromyography, and skin thermometry applied to such patients afford physiological examples of similar methods of differentiation. Some of the literature on these peripheral vascular anomalies has been recently reviewed (Abramson,1 1944;

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