Raynaud's Phenomenon (cont.)
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Raynaud's phenomenon facts
- What is Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What causes Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What conditions have been associated with Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What are Raynaud's phenomenon symptoms and signs?
- How is Raynaud's phenomenon diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for Raynaud's phenomenon?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) for Raynaud's phenomenon?
- Can Raynaud's phenomenon by prevented?
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
What causes Raynaud's phenomenon?
The causes of primary and secondary RP are unknown. Both abnormal nerve control of the blood-vessel diameter and nerve sensitivity to cold exposure have been suspected as being contributing factors. The characteristic color changes of the digits are in part related to initial blood-vessel narrowing due to spasm of the tiny muscles in the wall of the vessels, followed by sudden opening (dilation), as described above. The small arteries of the digits can have microscopic thickness of their inner lining, which also leads to abnormal narrowing of the blood vessels.
What conditions have been associated with Raynaud's phenomenon?
Raynaud's phenomenon has been seen with a number of conditions, including rheumatic diseases (scleroderma, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and mixed connective tissue disease), hormone imbalance (hypothyroidism and carcinoid), trauma (frostbite, vibrating tools), medications (propranolol [Inderal], estrogens without additional progesterone, bleomycin [Bleoxane] used in cancer treatment, and ergotamine used for headaches), nicotine, and even rarely with cancers.
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