- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Raynaud's disease

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A peripheral vascular disorder of unknown aetiology characterized by abnormal vasoconstriction of the peripheral circulation upon exposure to cold or emotional stress. Other causes include excessive smoking in patients sensitive to tobacco, and such mechanical factors as cervical rib or hyperabduction syndromes.

Symptoms include intermittent attacks of pallor or cyanosis of the digits (usually fingers) associated with cold or emotional disturbance, pallor or cyanosis that is bilateral or symmetrical, normal radial and ulnar pulse. No evidence of occlusive disease is present; gangrene may occur but is limited to the skin of the tips of the digits. The process is reversed by warming, but during the warming there may be intense flushing of the skin with pain and oedema. It is found most frequently in females between the ages of 18 and 30.


  • A. G. M. Raynaud:
    De l’asphyxie locale et de la gangrène symétrique des extrémités.
    Doctoral thesis, published February 25, 1862.
    Paris, Rignoux. L. Leclerc, Libraire-Éditeur. Also, Paris, Rignoux, 1867: 15-20.
    English translation by Thomas Barlow (1845-1945) in Selected Monographs, New Sydenham Society, London 1888: 1-199.
  • Jean B. Crocq:
    De l”acrocyanose”. La semaine médicale, Paris, 1896; 16: 298.
  • Richard Cassirer (1868-1925):
    Die vasomotorish-trophischen Neurosen. Berlin, Karger, 1901.

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