Dose-response patterns for vibration-induced white finger. (65/492)

AIMS: To investigate alternative relations between cumulative exposures to hand-transmitted vibration (taking account of vibration magnitude, lifetime exposure duration, and frequency of vibration) and the development of white finger (Raynaud's phenomenon). METHODS: Three previous studies have been combined to provide a group of 1557 users of powered vibratory tools in seven occupational subgroups: stone grinders, stone carvers, quarry drillers, dockyard caulkers, dockyard boilermakers, dockyard painters, and forest workers. The estimated total operating duration in hours was thus obtained for each subject, for each tool, and for all tools combined. From the vibration magnitudes and exposure durations, seven alternative measurements of cumulative exposure were calculated for each subject, using expressions of the form: dose = summation operator a(m)(i)t(i), where a(i) is the acceleration magnitude on tool i, t(i) is the lifetime exposure duration for tool i, and m = 0, 1, 2, or 4. RESULTS: For all seven alternative dose measures, an increase in dose was associated with a significant increase in the occurrence of vibration-induced white finger, after adjustment for age and smoking. However, dose measures with high powers of acceleration (m > 1) faired less well than measures in which the weighted or unweighted acceleration, and lifetime exposure duration, were given equal weight (m = 1). Dose determined solely by the lifetime exposure duration (without consideration of the vibration magnitude) gave better predictions than measures with m greater than unity. All measures of dose calculated from the unweighted acceleration gave better predictions than the equivalent dose measures using acceleration frequency-weighted according to current standards. CONCLUSIONS: Since the total duration of exposure does not discriminate between exposures accumulated over the day and those accumulated over years, a linear relation between vibration magnitude and exposure duration seems appropriate for predicting the occurrence of vibration-induced white finger. Poorer predictions were obtained when the currently recommended frequency weighting was employed than when accelerations at all frequencies were given equal weight. Findings suggest that improvements are possible to both the frequency weighting and the time dependency used to predict the development of vibration-induced white finger in current standards.  (+info)

A comparison between anti-Th/To- and anticentromere antibody-positive systemic sclerosis patients with limited cutaneous involvement. (66/492)

OBJECTIVE: To compare anti-Th/To-positive and anticentromere antibody (ACA)-positive patients with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis (lcSSc). METHODS: We reviewed the medical records of 107 anti-Th/To-positive patients and 365 ACA-positive patients who were first evaluated during 1985-2000. ACA was detected by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cell substrate, and anti-Th/To was detected by RNA immunoprecipitation with K562 cell extracts. Patients were included if they had a clinical diagnosis of lcSSc, and excluded if they had >1 SSc-associated serum autoantibody. RESULTS: The final study groups comprised 87 lcSSc patients with anti-Th/To antibodies and 306 with ACAs. Anti-Th/To-positive patients were younger (P < 0.04) and had a shorter disease duration at their first evaluation (P < 0.003). Patients with anti-Th/To antibodies had more subtle skin changes, less severe vascular involvement, and less frequent distal esophageal hypomotility. Both groups had a higher frequency of "intrinsic" pulmonary hypertension than has been previously reported in the literature (28% and 19% of anti-Th/To-positive and ACA-positive patients, respectively), perhaps due to referral bias. Patients in the anti-Th/To group more often had radiographic evidence of interstitial lung disease (48% versus 13% of the ACA group; P < 0.0001). Scleroderma renal crisis was uncommon (4 cases), but occurred exclusively in the anti-Th/To group. Survival among the anti-Th/To-positive patients was reduced compared with that in the ACA group (P < 0.02). CONCLUSION: Patients with anti-Th/To and those with ACA most often develop lcSSc and have a high frequency of "intrinsic" pulmonary hypertension. Compared with the ACA patients, anti-Th/To lcSSc patients have more subtle cutaneous, vascular, and gastrointestinal involvement, but more often have certain features typically seen in diffuse scleroderma, such as pulmonary fibrosis and scleroderma renal crisis, as well as reduced survival.  (+info)

A case of early renal functional impairment resolved with nutrients and botanicals. (67/492)

The use of three herbal/nutritional products over a period of two months normalized blood urea nitrogen (BUN), serum creatinine, and creatinine clearance in a case of early functional kidney impairment. Although previous use of intravenous EDTA resolved Raynaud's syndrome symptoms, it provided little improvement to abnormal creatinine clearance.  (+info)

Current pathophysiological views on vibration-induced Raynaud's phenomenon. (68/492)

This review attempts to summarize and discuss contemporary pathogenetic views on vibration-induced Raynaud's phenomenon assuming its multifactorial etiology. An increase in central and peripheral sympathetic nervous activity is discussed based on different physiological indicators of autonomic dysfunction and sympathetic hyperactivity. Local acral vasodysregulation is considered. Receptor and nerve endings dysfunction presented with predominance of alpha(2)-receptor function in the digital arteries and neuronal loss in those digital cutaneous perivascular nerves containing calcitonin gene-related peptide result in deficiency of endogenous release of this powerful vasodilator. Endothelial damage and dysregulation induced by vibration and increased shear stresses are demonstrated by the elevated plasma level of thrombomodulin and of von Willebrand factor and reduced endothelium-dependent vasodilator responses. The concentrations of endothelin-1 are high, the highest being in most advanced stages. Decreased plasma thiol level, indicating increased production and activity of free radicals, contribute to vasospastic paroxysms in vibration white finger patients. Dysbalance of local vasoactive factors with opposing effects on vascular smooth muscle like endothelin and nitric oxide, endothelin and calcitonin gene-related peptide, nitric oxide and superoxide anion are discussed. Disturbed smooth muscle response is supposed. Changes in hemostasis, fibrinolysis and hemorrheology, activation of blood cells with erythrocyte hyperaggregation and red cell hypodeformability, platelet aggregation with increased release of vasoconstricting thromboxane A(2) and serotonin as well as leukocyte activation, entrapment within capillaries and post-capillary venules and increased reactive oxygen species and lysosomal lytic enzymes release might also contribute to digital vasospasms and tissue damage. Elevated soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 levels involved in the adherence of leukocytes to endothelium and to other leukocytes have been found in patients with hand-arm vibration syndrome.  (+info)

Differentiation of primary and secondary Raynaud's disease by carotid arterial stiffness. (69/492)

INTRODUCTION: primary Raynaud's disease may be difficult to differentiate clinically from the secondary form with an underlying connective tissue, haematological, neurovascular or drug-induced disorder. We undertook a study to determine the elastic carotid and muscular femoral arterial biomechanical properties and intima-media thickness (IMT) in subjects with primary and secondary Raynaud's disease, to assess whether these parameters could differentiate the two conditions. METHODS: twenty patients with primary Raynaud's disease and 53 subjects with secondary Raynaud's associated with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc) had measurements of their carotid and femoral wall mechanics with a duplex scanner coupled to a Wall Track system. Their age, gender, body mass index, heart rate, systolic and diastolic blood pressures, presumed cardiovascular load, plasma creatinine, fasting cholesterol, triglyceride and glucose concentrations were also measured. RESULTS: the carotid elastic properties [mean (SD): elastic modulus: 560 (180) vs 1204 (558) mmHg,p <0.001 and stiffness index: 5.69 (1.35) vs 11.92 (6.4), p<0.001 for primary and secondary Raynaud's respectively] were significantly impaired in patients with secondary Raynaud's disease even after adjustment for potentially influencing physiological and biochemical variables. There were no statistical differences in the femoral elastic properties or the carotid and femoral IMTs between the two groups. CONCLUSION: Duplex determination of the carotid elasticity or stiffness is different in primary Raynaud's phenomenon compared with secondary Raynaud's associated with SSc. This may be a useful non-invasive tool, in addition to autoantibody markers and nail-fold capillaroscopy, to differentiate between the two forms of Raynaud's phenomenon.  (+info)

Hand-arm vibration syndrome in Swedish car mechanics. (70/492)

AIMS: To assess the occurrence of hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) in Swedish car mechanics, and the relation between HAVS and duration of exposure. METHODS: A total of 806 mechanics answered a questionnaire on vascular and neurological symptoms, and exposure to vibrations. Mechanics with symptoms, and some mechanics without symptoms, were invited to a clinical examination, including also a timed Allen test. Vascular and neurological symptoms were classified using the Stockholm Workshop scales. The mean daily exposure (mainly using nut-runners) was 14 minutes and the mean exposure duration, 12 years. Published data have shown vibration levels in nut-runners of about 3.5 m/s(2). RESULTS: In the questionnaire, 24% reported cold induced white finger (WF), 25% persistent numbness, and 13%, reduced grip force. The clinical examination showed a prevalence of vibration induced white finger (VWF) of about 15%, mainly in stage 2, and after 20 years, of 25%. A survival analysis showed similar results. We found that the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) model underestimates the risk of VWF. The incidence after 1975 was 19 cases per 1000 person-years. Slow refill times in the timed Allen test were common (15% had a refill time of >20 seconds), and associated with the presence of VWF. The clinical examination revealed neurological symptoms in the hands in about 25% of subjects, mainly at stage 2. After 20 years, the prevalence was 40%. The questionnaire items on WF and numbness both showed likelihood ratios of 13. CONCLUSION: HAVS is common among Swedish car mechanics in spite of short daily exposure times. This underlines the need for preventive measures.  (+info)

Nailfold capillary microscopy in healthy children and in childhood rheumatic diseases: a prospective single blind observational study. (71/492)

OBJECTIVES: To develop an objective method of nailfold capillaroscopy (NFC), applicable to a wide age range of paediatric patients. To compare the morphological characteristics of the nailfold capillaries in different rheumatology patient groups and controls. METHODS: A colour digital video camera attached to a stereomicroscope was used to capture nailfold capillary images. Computerised image processing was used to analyse and store data. Subsequent quantitative and qualitative morphological analysis was performed in the following paediatric patient and control groups: 18 children with connective tissue diseases (CTD: juvenile dermatomyositis, systemic sclerosis, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease), eight with systemic lupus erythematosus, nine with primary Raynaud's disease, three with primary vasculitis, 15 with juvenile idiopathic arthritis, 17 healthy children and 20 healthy adults. Images were analysed by a single assessor who was unaware of the patient details. RESULTS: The NFC technique was simple to perform and gave reproducible results, although some intra- and intersubject variation was noted. Capillary density and width was age related, with younger children having fewer and wider capillaries than older children and adults. Linear capillary density was significantly higher in healthy adults (mean (SD) 8.6 (1.6) capillaries/mm) compared with healthy children (HC 6.9 (0.9) capillaries/mm). The group with CTD had the most abnormal findings, with lower linear density (4.9 (1.7) capillaries/mm) and increased capillary loop width (10.7 (7.3) mm) compared with HC (3.5 (1.7) mm). In addition, 11/18 (61%) patients in the CTD group had more than two definitely abnormal capillaries in at least two nailfolds, an abnormality not seen in other subjects. Two qualitative measures, the degree of avascularity and general disarrangement of capillary pattern, were more commonly observed in the CTD group than in HC. The proportion of tortuous capillaries did not differ significantly between study groups. CONCLUSIONS: This study is unique in measuring objective quantitative and qualitative parameters of the nailfold vasculature across a wide spectrum of age and disease. Differences in capillary morphology and frequency in children with CTD compared with other paediatric diseases and healthy controls were demonstrated. In the clinical situation, an assessment of the general degree of disarrangement may offer a fast tool for assessment of the nailfold vasculature which correlates well with NFC data.  (+info)

Raynaud's phenomenon after radical radiotherapy for tumours of the head and neck. (72/492)

Endothelial cell injury is implicated in the development of radiation induced tissue damage and may also be involved in the pathophysiology of secondary Raynaud's phenomenon. Two patients are presented in whom the typical symptoms and signs of Raynaud's phenomenon developed as a late complication of radical radiotherapy. One had Raynaud's of the tongue and one of the lip. Both patients had a prior history of primary Raynaud's phenomenon and in each case the symptoms were repeatedly precipitated by sudden cold exposure. The possible pathogenesis of radiation induced Raynaud's phenomenon in the head and neck region is discussed.  (+info)