A diagnostic method was developed for assessing the functional state of the peripheral vessels of fingers, based on carrying out occlusion test in a thermally stabilized environment, with simultaneous recording of signals of laser Doppler flowmetry and skin thermometry. To verify the diagnostic value of the proposed method, a series of experiments were carried out on 41 rheumatological patients: 5 male and 36 females (average age 56.0±12.2 years). The most common diagnoses in the patient group were rheumatoid arthritis, arthrosis, gout and systemic lupus erythematosus. The laser analyser of blood microcirculation “LAKK-02” (SPE “LAZMA” Ltd, Russia) and a custom developed multi-channel thermometry device for low inertia thermometry were used for experimental measurements. The measurements of cutaneous temperature and the index of microcirculation were performed on the distal phalanx of the third finger of the right hand. Occlusion tests were performed with water baths at 25 and 42 °C and a tonometer cuff with a pressure of 200-220 mmHg for 3 min on the upper arm.
The results of experimental studies are presented and interpreted. These data indicate a violation of the blood supply regulation in the form of a pronounced tendency towards microvascular vasoconstriction in the fingers. Thus, the response displaying a tendency toward angiospasm among patients in the rheumatological diseases profile group was observed mainly in the most severe cases (49 % of this group). The prospects of the developed diagnostic method of microcirculatory disorders in rheumatic diseases are evaluated. Thus, cutaneous blood microcirculation and temperature measurements performed together can help in diagnosis of the functional state of peripheral vessels both in a healthy state and when expressing pathology.