Use of diagnostic modalities for assessing upper extremity vascular pathology

Beatrice L. Grasu, Christopher M. Jones, Michael S. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Vascular pathology of the upper extremity requires consideration of constitutional, anatomic, and functional factors. The medical history and physical examination are essential. The Allen test can be performed alongside a handheld Doppler for arterial mapping. Useful studies include digital-brachial index measurements, digital plethysmography, laser Doppler, and color ultrasounds. Three-phase bone scintigraphy still plays a role in the evaluation of vascularity after of frostbite injury. Angiogram remains the gold standard radiographic instrument to evaluate vascular pathology of the upper extremity, but computed tomography and magnetic resonance scans have an increasing role in diagnosis of vascular pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalHand clinics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Allen test
  • Angiography
  • Cold stress testing
  • Color ultrasound
  • Digital-brachial index
  • Laser Doppler fluxometry
  • Photoplethysmography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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