Table of Contents
- Raynaud's phenomenon facts
- What is Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What causes Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What are risk factors from Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What conditions have been associated with Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What are Raynaud's phenomenon symptoms and signs?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What specialties of doctors treat Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What is the treatment for Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for Raynaud's phenomenon?
- Is it possible to prevent Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What research is being done on Raynaud's phenomenon?
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What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose Raynaud's phenomenon?
In patients with the characteristic sequence of skin-color changes of the digits upon cold exposure, diagnosing RP is not difficult. Sometimes, certain patterns in the tiny blood vessels (capillaries) adjacent to the fingernails of patients with RP can be seen using a magnifying viewing instrument. Abnormal nail-fold capillary patterns can suggest the possibility of an associated rheumatic condition. There is, however, no single blood test to help the doctor to confirm the diagnosis. The doctor can order certain blood tests (for example, sedimentation rate, rheumatoid factor, antinuclear antibody, thyroid hormone levels, and protein levels) to exclude associated rheumatic diseases and thyroid disorders. The doctor can also perform certain maneuvers with the patient's extremities to exclude pinched blood vessels that can produce symptoms that mimic RP, such as in thoracic outlet syndrome.
Typically, patients with Raynaud's phenomenon that is a manifestation of a rheumatic disease have elevated blood sedimentation rates and antinuclear antibodies. Furthermore, capillary nail-fold abnormalities can frequently be found as described above.
What specialties of doctors treat Raynaud's phenomenon?
Doctors who treat Raynaud's phenomenon include general-medicine physicians, family medicine physicians, internists, rheumatologists, and hand surgeons. Continue Reading
Kasper, D., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2015.
Koopman, William, et al., eds. Clinical Primer of Rheumatology. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003.
Ruddy, Shaun, et al., eds. Kelley's Textbook of Rheumatology, 6th ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2001.
2. "A thermal image demonstrating the loss of heat in a Reynaud's sufferer" by Joe m2013 - Own work. Licensed under CC0 via Wikimedia Commons
3. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
4. eMedicineHealth - Image courtesy of Shabir Bhimji, MD / Tcal at English Wikipedia / Walt Fletcher at English Wikipedia
5. Getty Images
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