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Renal Exam

Capillary Refill Time

November 28th, 2019


Capillary refill time is a marker of perfusion, and prolonged refill time suggests poor perfusion of the area being examined.
  • How to Elicit

  • Apply pressure to the nail bed until it blanches, release and measure the time taken for colour to return.
  • Abnormal If

  • >2 seconds
  • Causes of Prolonged Capillary Refill Time

  • Shock
  • Dehydration
  • Decreased peripheral perfusion
  • Note

  • Capillary refill time (CRT) is a useful test in children, though has little clinical utility in adults due to its variability with age, sex, ambient temperature among many other factors.
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