Raynaud's phenomenon

Fredrick M. Wigley, Ariane L. Herrick

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) is the clinical manifestation of defect of the thermoregulatory vessels in the skin and of medium and small vessels in the peripheral arterial system. Triphasic colour changes (pallor, cyanosis and hyperaemia) occur as an exaggeration or perturbation of normal responses to cold ambient temperature or emotional stress. It occurs primarily in the fingers with relative sparing of the thumbs. It can also occur in the toes, tongue, ears and nose. Typically, Raynaud's attacks are symmetrical, involving both hands with patients noting that there is often a dominant or more sensitive finger(s), usually the index and middle fingers. A typical attack will continue with signs and symptoms of ischaemia until rewarming. This review of the pathogenesis of RP will first review normal physiology of the thermoregulatory vessel and then focus on potential physiological and pathological mechanisms that can alter normal vasoreactivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationScleroderma
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Pathogenesis to Comprehensive Management
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781441957740
ISBN (Print)9781441957733
StatePublished - Jan 1 2012


  • Calcium channel blocker
  • Endothelium
  • Phosphodiesterase inhibition
  • Primary RP
  • Prostanoids
  • Secondary RP
  • Thermoregulatory vessels

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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