Raynaud’s phenomenon test

 Definition:

Raynaud’s phenomenon is a term used to describe a clinical picture consisting of vasopastic associated discolorations of the fingers and toes and occasionally other peripheral parts of the body.

Raynaud’s phenomenon includes: Raynaud’s disease (primary Raynaud’s phenomenon), a term used to describe the condition when it is idiopathic in nature and Raynaud’s syndrome (secondary Raynaud’s) which describes the condition when associated with a specific cause.

Test procedure and findings:

A series of tests are often used to help the practitioner obtain a good clinical appreciation of the patient and accurate diagnosis of Raynaud’s phenomenon:

  • Digital artery pressure: the pressure in the arteries supplying the fingers are assessed prior and post cooling of the hands. A discrepancy of 15mmHg is considered as a positive.
  • Renal function may be assessed via blood test, looking for urea and electrolyte levels.
  • Doppler ultrasound: reading the blood flow through the extremities.
  • Blood count: looking for signs of anaemia.
  • Nail fold vasculature: microscopic examination

Special considerations:

Stress and cold are classic triggers of the phenomenon.