COLD Stimulation Test for Raynaud's Phenomenon
Alternate Names : Isolated COLD Stress Testing, ICST
This test looks for reduced blood flow in the fingers after they
are exposed to cold temperatures.
Who is a candidate for the test?
A cold stimulation test may be advised when a
healthcare provider suspects Raynaud phenomenon.
This condition causes the small arteries of the fingers, toes, ears, or nose to
go into spasm. The spasm causes changes in skin color. Feelings of
and pain also often occur. Cold temperatures or emotional stress can bring
on symptoms of Raynaud phenomenon. When this condition lasts for 2 years or
more and an underlying cause cannot be found, it is called Raynaud disease.
The cold stimulation test is used to see if a person's symptoms are from
or other causes of low blood flow, such as atherosclerosis.
How is the test performed?
A heat sensor is attached to the person's fingers to measure
their normal temperature. Then, each finger is chilled with cold water or
some other device. The fingers are removed from the cold after a short
period of time. The skin temperature of the fingers is measured every 5
minutes until it returns to normal.