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J R Soc Med. 1989 September; 82(9): 536–538.
PMCID: PMC1292299

Use of laser Doppler flowmetry and transcutaneous oxygen tension electrodes to assess local autonomic dysfunction in patients with frozen shoulder.


The laser Doppler flowmeter (LDF), which measures changes in cutaneous blood flow, and the transcutaneous oxygen electrode which measures cutaneous perfusion, were used to study reflex changes in the microcirculation of the shoulder in 38 patients with frozen shoulder and 10 normal controls. In all controls and 22 patients with frozen shoulder, a normal LDF response to inspiration/expiration was observed. In 16 patients with frozen shoulder, LDF responses were either unilaterally or bilaterally absent. Comparison between the two patient groups showed a significant association (chi 2 = 6.43, P less than 0.02) between abnormality of response and the persistence of pain. TcPO2 was in the normal range in all patients and controls. These findings suggest that the LDF together with the TcPO2 may be a useful method of studying the skin microcirculation over the shoulder.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Rizk TE, Pinals RS. Frozen shoulder. Semin Arthritis Rheum. 1982 May;11(4):440–452. [PubMed]
  • Low PA, Walsh JC, Huang CY, McLeod JG. The sympathetic nervous system in diabetic neuropathy. A clinical and pathological study. Brain. 1975 Sep;98(3):341–356. [PubMed]
  • Bolton B, Carmichael EA, Stürup G. Vaso-constriction following deep inspiration. J Physiol. 1936 Jan 15;86(1):83–94. [PubMed]
  • Reeves B. The natural history of the frozen shoulder syndrome. Scand J Rheumatol. 1975;4(4):193–196. [PubMed]
  • Cinquegrana OD. Chronic cervical radiculitis and its relationship to "chronic bursitis". Am J Phys Med. 1968 Feb;47(1):23–30. [PubMed]

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