Internal vascular shunts for haemodialysis can cause different complications. One of the most serious complications is steal syndrome, which can result in disturbed peripheral circulation causing finger necrosis and lead to amputation. Thus, prevention of these complications is important. Measurement of skin perfusion pressure (SPP) has been used in various clinical settings, including wound-healing management, and its usefulness has been increasingly unveiled. The present study was undertaken to evaluate changes in haemodynamics after internal shunt creation by measuring SPP of the thumb and the little finger before and after surgery in five patients undergoing shunt surgery using the radial artery and the cephalic vein. The study revealed average changes of-22.8 mmHg in thumb SPP. The change in the thumb was statistically significant (p < 0.05). If the effect of surgery and the threshold for wound healing are taken into account, the present results indicate the necessity to pay extra attention to fingers with extremely low preoperative SPP values. For the prevention of serious disturbances of peripheral circulation (e.g. steal syndrome), routine preoperative SPP measurement seems effective for screening of high-risk patients.
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