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Assessment of thermotactile and vibrotactile thresholds for detecting sensorineural components of the hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)



Assessment of thermotactile and vibrotactile thresholds for detecting sensorineural components of the hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS)



International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 91(1): 35-45



Thermotactile thresholds and vibrotactile thresholds are measured to assist the diagnosis of the sensorineural component of the hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). This study investigates whether thermotactile and vibrotactile thresholds distinguish between fingers with and without numbness and tingling. In 60 males reporting symptoms of the hand-arm vibration syndrome, thermotactile thresholds for detecting hot and cold temperatures and vibrotactile thresholds at 31.5 and 125 Hz were measured on the index and little fingers of both hands. In fingers reported to suffer numbness or tingling, hot thresholds increased, cold thresholds decreased, and vibrotactile thresholds at both 31.5 and 125 Hz increased. With sensorineural symptoms on all three phalanges (i.e. numbness or tingling scores of 6), both thermotactile thresholds and both vibrotactile thresholds had sensitivities greater than 80% and specificities around 90%, with areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves around 0.9. There were correlations between all four thresholds, but cold thresholds had greater sensitivity and greater specificity on fingers with numbness or tingling on only the distal phalanx (i.e. numbness or tingling scores of 1) suggesting cold thresholds provide better indications of early sensorineural disorder. Thermotactile thresholds and vibrotactile thresholds can provide useful indications of sensorineural function in patients reporting symptoms of the sensorineural component of HAVS.

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Accession: 059410895

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 28918454

DOI: 10.1007/s00420-017-1259-2


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