1994 Volume 32 Issue 4 Pages 215-229
In order to evaluate the severity of peripheral vascular disorders, and to detect changes in the digital arteries of workers who use chain saws, the mechanical properties of the digital arteries of 22 such workers were examined using a photosensor. The elastic properties and the nonlinearity of digital arteries were assessed through observation of the changes in the vascular volume ratio (V/Vo) against the volume (Vo) at mean blood pressure (Pm). A significant negative correlation was found between age and V/Vo at a transmural pressure of 30 mmHg (V30/Vo), which suggested that V30/Vo tended to decrease with aging. Although it was impossible to calculate V30/Vo for chain saw operators because of the vague changes in the volume pulse wave, this nonlinearity was more clearly observed through changes in the relative vascular volume (V/V40) along with a reduction in cuff pressure (Pc) to 40 mmHg below systolic blood pressure. A group of similarly aged healthy controls and three groups of workers with a different severity of vibration-induced white finger (VWF), i.e., no symptoms of VWF, mild VWF and severe VWF, were classified according to the changes in their V/V40 and the reduction in Pc.
The results obtained in the present study suggest that the peripheral vascular disorders in workers using chain saws are due to the opening disturbance of the arteries with nonlinear changes in the peripheral artery, which is related to functional and organic abnormality of the arteries.