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  1. Kelechi, Teresa J. PhD, RN, CWCN
  2. Neal, Diane E. PhD, RN


OBJECTIVE: To examine whether a patient group with chronic venous disorders (CVDs) would show a different response to a pressure provocation test, such as skin perfusion pressure (SPP) of microcirculatory function.


DESIGN: A cuff inflation technique was applied to the gaiter area of the lower legs to induce complete occlusion of the microcirculation. The cuff was then released to measure the pressure at which perfusion resumed, and SPP was measured with a laser Doppler flowmeter (LDF). The measurements at reperfusion were taken of skin of the lower legs of individuals with CVD and compared with the lower-leg skin of control participants.


MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: To establish whether a measurable difference in SPP exists between the group with CVD and the group without CVD, the means of 9 measurements taken were compared using the Student t test. The lowest value of the 9 measurements of minimum pressure (LMV) was used to estimate the pressure at which reperfusion occurred (SPP). The means of those estimates were then compared using the Student t test.


MAIN RESULTS: The mean LMV measured in the CVD group was slightly higher than that measured in the group without CVD. Although this could be considered a clinically significant result, it was not statistically different.


CONCLUSIONS: For this study, SPP was not significantly different for those with CVD compared with those without. These results suggest that SPP conducted with an LDF has little potential to detect "invisible" changes in the microcirculatory function of the skin affected by CVDs.