The general assumption that the pathologic conditions which are amenable to treatment by sympathectomy are dependent on vasomotor spasm has led to the estimation of surface temperature as an index of the potential degree of vascular release. The skin temperature and the potential rise have been investigated by exposure to high environmental temperatures and by blockage of the vasomotor impulses by the injection of procaine hydrochloride into the peripheral nerves or by the use of spinal anesthesia.
From a study of these methods it has been found that there is a gradation of the skin temperature from the trunk to the extremities in normal persons, which may be termed the vasomotor gradient, and that exposure of the body to a uniform warm air temperature of from 34 to 38 C. (93.2 to 100.4 F.) produces generalized vasodilatation with equalization of the temperatures of the central and distal surfaces. Coller and
SHAW RC. SURFACE TEMPERATURE TEST IN VASCULAR OCCLUSION AND VASOMOTOR SPASM: ITS VALUE IN RELATION TO SYMPATHECTOMY. Arch Surg. 1934;28(4):706–712. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1934.01170160092004
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