Which physical findings are characteristic of Raynaud phenomenon in scleroderma?

Updated: Nov 13, 2018
  • Author: Sergio A Jimenez, MD, MACR, FACP, FRCP(UK Hon); Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Answer

Raynaud phenomenon results in characteristic color changes of pallor, cyanosis, and then erythema (white, blue, red) in the fingers, toes and other acral body parts, and is usually accompanied by numbness, tingling, or pain. These events are triggered by cold exposure, smoking, or emotional stress. Subintimal hyperplasia, typically present in systemic sclerosis vessels, can cause a severe reduction of their luminal diameter, limiting blood flow. The baseline reduction in vessel lumen coupled to an exaggerated response to vasoconstricting stimuli accounts for the severity of Raynaud phenomenon in systemic sclerosis.


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