Allen Test


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Release Date

5 Oct 2020

Expiration Date

29 Jul 2022

Last Reviewed

29 Jul 2021

Estimated Time To Finish

60 Minutes

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Activity Description

The Allen test (AT) is used to assess collateral blood flow to the hands. The radial artery is easily palpable. The need for this test arises from the inability to palpate the ulnar artery. Because the ulnar artery cannot be palpated, its patency cannot be assessed, and therefore, collateral circulation of the hand cannot be confirmed. If the radial artery needs to be cannulated or catheterized and there is a risk for thrombosis, then the Allen test can help confirm that the hand will maintain adequate blood flow through the ulnar artery and collaterals in the event it becomes occluded. A positive Allen test means that the patient does not have an adequate dual blood supply to the hand, which would be a negative indication for catheterization, removal of the radial artery, or any procedure which may result in occlusion of the vessel. This activity reviews the evaluation of the ulnar artery using the Allen test and discusses the role of laboratory technicians, respiratory therapists, nurses, and clinicians in performing the test.

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Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of nurses.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Identify the anatomical structures involved in the Allen test.
  • Describe the indications for performing the Allen test.
  • Outline the technique for performing the Allen test.
  • Summarize interprofessional team strategies for improving communication in regards to the significance of a positive Allen test.

Author(s) / Contributors Disclosure of Conflicts of Interest

Each author, editor, faculty and planning committee member have completed a disclosure form indicating that neither they nor their spouse/partner has a financial interest/arrangement or affiliation that could be perceived as a real or apparent conflict of interest related to the content of this activity.

COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.


Hover over the contributor names to see details and disclosures of any financial relationships or relationships they or their spouse/life partner have with commercial interests related to the content of this continuing education activity.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information


This activity is jointly provided by AKH Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare and StatPearls. AKH, Inc., Advancing Knowledge in Healthcare is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation. This activity is awarded 1.00 Contact Hours.

Cancellation Policy: Cancellations must be received in writing and a money-back guarantee is provided if not completely satisfied.

  • StatPearls and AKH reserve the right to cancel any course due to unforeseen circumstances. StatPearls and AKH will not be responsible for other expenses incurred by the participant in the unlikely event that the program is canceled.

Equal Opportunity

  • StatPearls and AKH are Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action / Equal Access Institutions. 

Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements:  Internet Access
  • E-mail Address

Instructions for Credit

  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the required accreditation information:  Target audience, learning objectives and disclosure information.
  3. Complete the entire self-study activity.
  4. Complete the post-test assessments.
  5. Successfully pass the post-test with a minimum score of 100%.
  6. Complete the evaluation form.
  7. Obtain a certificate.

StatPearls and AKH adhere to ANCC Standards regarding commercial support of continuing nursing education. It is the policy of StatPearls and AKH that the faculty and planning committee disclose real or apparent conflicts of interest relating to the topics of this educational activity, that relevant conflict(s) of interest are resolved and also that authors and editors will disclose any unlabeled/unapproved use of drug(s) or device(s) during their presentation. Detailed disclosure will be made prior to starting the activity.

The information provided at this CNE activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

  • If you have concerns regarding the CE system, please contact, or call 727-289-9796.
  • If you have concerns regarding CE, please contact or call AKH 877-AKH-CME4.


Media Usage Rights

The contributors and editors of StatPearls have attested that all associated media (images and video) have been legally cleared for use with this activity.  All copyrights are reserved.

  • Name: 'AllenTestNew.jpg' Attribution: Illustration by Katherine Humphreys


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