The purpose was to examine whether associations exist between temperature responses in the fingers vs. toes and hand vs. foot during local cold-water immersion and rewarming phases.
Seventy healthy subjects (58 males, 12 females) immersed their right hand or right foot, respectively, in 8 °C water for 30 min (CWI phase), followed by a 15-min spontaneous rewarming (RW) in 25 °C air temperature.
Temperature was lower in the toes than the fingers during the baseline phase (27.8 ± 3.0 vs. 33.9 ± 2.5 °C, p < 0.001), parts of the CWI phase (min 20–30: 8.8 ± 0.7 vs. 9.7 ± 1.4 °C, p < 0.001), and during the RW phase (peak temperature: 22.5 ± 5.1 vs. 32.7 ± 3.6 °C, p < 0.001). Cold-induced vasodilatation (CIVD) was more common in the fingers than in the toes ( p < 0.001). Within the first 10 min of CWI, 61% of the subjects exhibited a CIVD response in the fingers, while only 6% of the subjects had a CIVD response in the toes. There was a large variability of temperature responses both within and between extremities, and there was a weak correlation between finger- and toe temperature both during the CWI ( r = 0.21, p = 0.08) and the RW phases ( r = 0.26, p = 0.03).