OBJECTIVES: Various objective tests have been widely used worldwide for diagnosing the hand-arm vibration syndrome. Among these, the cold provocation test has been frequently used to confirm the presence of Raynaud's phenomenon. This study was carried out in order to evaluate finger skin temperature by cold provocation test(10 degrees C for 10 minute) for the diagnosis of hand-arm vibration syndrome METHODS: Fifty-eight workers who had been exposed to local vibration were examined. Information concerning age, occupation, types of vibration tools used, presence of subjective symptoms such as vibration induced white finger(VWF), and numbness and tingling were collected. The subjects were classified into three groups according to their symptoms(Vascular, Neural, and No symptom group). In order to examine the applicability of the cold provocation test using water at 10 degrees C for 10 minute, we compared finger skin temperature between the groups. RESULTS: The mean value of the finger skin temperature at 5 minutes and 10 minutes after cold provocation as well as the recovery rate in the vascular group were significantly lower than that seen in the other groups. CONCLUSIONS: The evaluation of finger skin temperature by cold provocation test is very useful method for the diagnosis of hand-arm vibration syndrome. The test results will assist in confirming the diagnosis of the hand-arm vibration syndrome.