Raynaud’s Phenomenon: Numbness and Discoloration of Body

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The Raynaud’s Phenomenon is a medical condition that causes discoloration and numb feeling in fingers and/or toes. In today’s video, we will show you how exactly Raynaud’s Phenomenon appears and how you will be spotting it when you see it next time. You can read some key points in the summary given below:

Contents

Pathophysiology

Its pathophysiology includes hyperactivation of the sympathetic nervous system causing extreme vasoconstriction of the peripheral blood vessels, leading to tissue hypoxia.

Types

There are two types of Raynaud’s Phenomenon:

  1. Primary: Idiopathic (Cause is unknown), the called Raynaud’s disease
  2. Secondary: Occurs due to another medical condition such as Scleroderma, SLE, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Buerger’s disease, Atherosclerosis, etc.

Signs

  1. Pale or White Skin
  2. Numbness
  3. Blue skin on oxygen depletion (cyanosis)

Diagnosis

  • Digital artery pressure: pressures are measured in the arteries of the fingers before and after the hands have been cooled. A decrease of at least 15 mmHg is diagnostic (positive)
  • Doppler ultrasound: to assess blood flow
  • Full blood count: this may reveal a normocytic anemia suggesting the anaemia of chronic disease or renal failure
  • Blood test
  • Thyroid function tests: for hypothyroidism
  • An auto-antibody screen, tests for rheumatoid factor, Erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein
  • Nail fold vasculature: this can be examined under the microscope

Treatment

  1. Medications: Vasodilators, Sympatholytic agents, ARBs or ACE-Inhibitors, Statins, etc.
  2. Surgery: Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or Microvascular surgery as per doctor suggestions.
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