Buerger Test for Erythromelalgia Revisited

William F. Wright, DO, MPH, and Manu Rajachandran, MD
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: August 1, 2016

Accepted: September 8, 2016

Published: February 1, 2017

J Osteopath Med; 117(2): 124-126

Leo Buerger, MD, was the first to describe dependent rubor associated with marked atherosclerosis. Historically, dependent rubor has been described as erythromelalgia (or erythromelia), and terms such as chronic rubor, reactionary rubor, induced rubor, and hyperemic response have also been used to describe this sign associated with peripheral vascular disease. This brief review will reacquaint physicians with the Buerger test, which is used to assess arterial sufficiency, as well as erythromelalgia, and the proposed mechanisms responsible for erythromelalgia. The Buerger test is an important consideration when examining patients for erythromelalgia, which remains distinct from erythema associated with skin and soft tissue infections.

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