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Back to Cardiovascular Diseases


Updated: September 19, 2006

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Symptoms and signs

The fingers and hands or toes and feet tend to feel cold and to be bluish. It is often associated with profuse sweating and, at times, with local edema. Exposure to cold usually intensifies the bluish discoloration, and warming reduces it. The disorder is not painful and does not damage the skin. The disease is temperature dependent and generally worsens with cold exposure. It is typically symmetrical blueness of the extremities (the hands and feet). It is noticeable by spotted blue or reddish discoloring of the skin of the fingers, wrists, toes and the ankles.


There is no screening test as the condition occurs in episodes and without any other local or systematic derangement of organs and body function.


The disorder is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms. The affected parts are cold and sweaty and have a mottled appearance with reddish-blue discoloration of the skin. The pulses are normal.

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