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Muscle Nerve. 2003 Mar;27(3):307-11.

Water-immersion wrinkling is due to vasoconstriction.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, National University Hospital, 5 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119074, Singapore.


The underlying mechanism of the water-immersion skin wrinkling test, which is used as a test of sympathetic nerve function, remains elusive. We investigated changes of blood circulation in the hand occurring with water-immersion wrinkling by measuring the velocity of ulnar and digital artery blood flow, and of digit skin blood flow, in healthy subjects before and during wrinkling. Wrinkling was accompanied by significant reduction in blood flow velocity in all vessels, with a maximum in digital vessels. Our data show that water-immersion wrinkling is a function of digit pulp vasoconstriction. This test of sympathetic function can now be quantified using parameters of blood flow velocity, enabling its more widespread and accurate use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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