THOMAS WILLIAMS, M.D.; JERALD R. SCHENKEN, M.D.
To the editor: In the excellent and timely review of indications for arterial blood gas analysis (1), Dr. Raffin states that "an Allen test should be done to assess adequacy of collateral circulation." The original reference (2) describing this test is cited. Dr. Raffin, however, does not make clear whether this recommendation pertains to the use of the brachial artery, radial artery, or both.
In more recent literature and in several institutions in our area, radial arterial punctures are routine and the Allen test has not been uniformly recommended. Early reports of percutaneous radial artery punctures did not incorporate the
WILLIAMS T, SCHENKEN JR. Radial Artery Puncture and the Allen Test. Ann Intern Med. ;106:164–165. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-106-1-164_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1987;106(1):164-165.
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