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Clubbing of the fingers or toes
DefinitionClubbing is a broadening and thickening of the fingers or toes with increased lengthwise curvature of the tip of the nail, and flattening of the angle between the cuticle and nail.
ConsiderationsClubbing is associated with a wide number of diseases, although it is most often noted in diseases of the heart and lungs that cause decreased blood oxygen and skin blueness ( cyanosis ), or lung cancer. Clubbing can also be associated with diseases of the liver and the gastrointestinal tract. It may also occur in families without signifying an underlying disease.
Home CareThere is no specific treatment for the clubbing itself. Home care depends on the specific diagnosis.
Call your health care provider if
If you notice clubbing, call your health care provider. However, this is a relatively late symptom, and other earlier symptoms have usually occurred that require the attention of your health care provider.
A person with clubbing generally has other symptoms and signs (usually heart and lung disease) that, when taken together, define a specific syndrome or condition. Diagnosis of that condition is based on the family history, medical history, and thorough physical evaluation.
Medical history questions documenting clubbing in detail may include:
Diagnostic tests that may be performed are:
Update Date: 1/27/2004Allen J. Blaivas, D.O., Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University Hospital, Newark, NJ. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT