Raynaud’s disease: One of several primary arteriospastic diseases characterized by episodic vasospasm in the small peripheral arteries and arterioles. Raynaud’s disease occurs bilaterally and usually affects the hands or, less often, the feet. When the patient is expose to stress and cold, the patient experiences skin color changes. The patient may develop minimal cutaneous ( Pertaining to the skin ) gangrene ( death of tissue ) or no gangrene at all. Arterial pulses are normal.
The cause of Raynaud’s disease remains unknown, several theories account for reduces digital blood flow. probably, it results from an antigen – antibody immune response, since most patients with Raynaud’s phenomenon have abnormal immunologic test results. Other explanation for reduced digital blood flow include intrinsic vascular wall hyperactivity caused by cold and increased vasomotor tone from sympathetic stimulation. Raynaud’s phenomenon, however, a condition often associated with several connective tissue disorder, such as systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or polymyositis – has a progressive course, leading to ischemia, gangrene, and amputation. Distinction between the two disorders is difficult; some patients who experience mild symptoms of Raynaud’s disease for several years may later develop overt connective tissue disease, especially systemic sclerosis.
After exposure to cold or stress, the skin on the patient’s fingers typically blanches, then becomes cyanotic (bluish discoloration ) before changing to red and before changing from cold to normal temperature.
Initially, the patient must avoid cold; safeguard against mechanical or chemical injury, and quit smoking.
* Doctor will reserve drug therapy for patients with unusually severe symptoms, adverse reactions, especially from vasodilator, may prove more bothersome than the disease itself.