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intermittent bilateral attacks of ischemia of the fingers or toes and sometimes the ears or nose, marked by severe pallor, and often accompanied by paresthesia and pain; it is brought on characteristically by cold or emotional stimuli and relieved by heat, and is due to an underlying disease or anatomical abnormality. When the condition is idiopathic or primary it is termed raynaud's disease.
Narrowing of the arteries and arterioles of the fingers and toes, often triggered by cold or stress, resulting in blanching, cyanosis, numbness, pain, and, in extreme cases, gangrene.
Etymology: Maurice Raynaud, French physician, 1834-1881
intermittent attacks of ischemia of the extremities of the body, especially the fingers, toes, ears, and nose, caused by exposure to cold or by emotional stimuli. The attacks are characterized by severe blanching of the extremities, followed by cyanosis, then redness; they are usually accompanied by numbness, tingling, burning, and often pain. Normal color and sensation are restored by heat. The attacks usually occur secondary to such conditions as scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, thoracic outlet syndrome, drug intoxications, dysproteinemia, myxedema, primary pulmonary hypertension, and trauma. The condition is called Raynaud's disease when there is a history of symptoms for at least 2 years with no progression of symptoms and no evidence of an underlying cause. Therapy for the secondary form depends on recognition and treatment of the underlying disease. Idiopathic forms, which occur most frequently in young women 18 to 30 years of age, may be controlled by protecting the body and extremities from the cold, by the use of mild sedatives and vasodilators, and by avoiding smoking. Biofeedback techniques are useful in training the client to increase the temperature of the affected extremity, ears, or nose. Drug therapy can also relieve symptoms.
Raynaud's phenomenonThe term given to the symptoms of RAYNAUD'S DISEASE when the cause is known. Raynaud's phenomenon may be caused by any form of narrowing arterial disease, such as ATHEROSCLEROSIS, Buerger's disease (THROMBOANGIITIS OBLITERANS), EMBOLISM, THROMBOSIS, diabetic large vessel disease, RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS or SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS. It may also be caused by repetitive strain or strong vibration or artery-constricting drugs or poisons. The treatment is the management of the cause.
Intermittant ischemia (deficient blood flow) of the fingers or toes, sometimes also affecting the ears and nose.
Mentioned in: Myxoma