This prospective double-blind study compared Doppler assessment of the ulnar collateral circulation with the Allen's test and a postocclusive reactive circulatory hyperaemia (PORCH) test in 144 patients (288 hands). The PORCH test involves inflation of a blood pressure cuff on the upper arm to a supra systolic (+50 mmHg) pressure for two minutes. Prior to cuff deflation, both radial and ulnar arteries are occluded at the wrist; the cuff is then deflated and a 15-second period allowed so as to restore blood flow down to the wrist. Ulnar artery compression is now released and the time to revascularization measured. Fifty-eight per cent of hands with an abnormal Allen's test had a normal ulnar collateral circulation. Results of Allen's test were not significantly affected by patients' sex or smoking status (p greater than 0.1) but there was a significant difference (p = 0.001) in the false positive rates between patients over 40 years of age (0.2) and those under 40 years of age (0.03). Results of the PORCH test were not significantly affected by patients' age, sex or smoking status (p greater than 0.1). With a revascularisation time of 19 sec as a "cut off" for ulnar abnormality the PORCH test, unlike the Allen's test, was perfectly predictive of an abnormal ulnar collateral circulation and had no false positives.