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Raynaud Phenomenon

  • Raynaud Phenomenon refers to an episodic blanching of the fingers or toes which is followed by their cyanosis and then rubor. This vaguely patriotic, white-blue-red, ordered transition of the digits is due to sudden, episodic ischemia followed by reactive hyperemia. Although individual incidents are not of clinical concern, chronic and repetitive episodes can lead to atrophy of digital skin and muscles, and in severe cases ulceration and gangrenous necrosis. Episodes of the phenomenon are frequently precipitated by emotional stress or exposure of the digits to cold temperatures.
  • Overview
    • Raynaud Phenomenon appears to be due to an exaggerated arterial vasoconstriction in response to SNS stimulation which may explain why episodes are precipitated by drops in temperature or emotional stress. The phenomenon can occur entirely on its own in which case it is considered a primary disease and termed "Raynaud Disease" or can occur secondary to other disease processes which are usually autoimmune in nature.
  • Primary Raynaud Disease
    • Tends to occur in younger adult women between 20-40yo.
  • Secondary Diseases