Also called the tourniquet test, the capillary fragility test is a nonspecific method for evaluating bleeding tendencies. A positive-pressure test, used to measure the capillaries ability to remain intact under increased intracapillary pressure, is controlled by a blood pressure cuff around the patient's upper arm.
Procedure and posttest care
A few petechiae may normally be present before the test. Less than 10 petechiae on the forearm 5 minutes after the lest is considered normal, or negative; more than 10 petechiae is considered a positive result. The following scale may also be used to report test results.
A positive finding (more than 10 petechiae or a Score of 2+ to 4+) indicates weakness of the capillary walls (vascular purpura) or a platelet defect. It may occur in such conditions as thromboccytopenia, thrombasthenia, purpua senilis, scurvy, DIC, von Willebrand's disease, vitamin K deficiency, dysproteinemia, and polycythemia vera and in severe deficiencies of factor VII, fibrinogen, or prothrombin. Conditions unrelated to bleeding defects, such as scarlet fever, measles, influenza, chronic renal disease, hypertension, and diabetes with coexistent vascular disease, may also increase capillary fragility. An abnormal number of petechiae sometimes appear before menstruation and at other times in some healthy persons, especially in women over age 40.
The information provided on this web site should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site.