Vasospasm (Raynaud's disease) in old man's fingers

Vasospasm (Raynaud's disease) in old man's fingers

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vasospasm. The hand of an elderly man whose fing- ertips have whitened due to vasospasm (Raynaud's disease). The fingertips are white because small arteries in the fingers have constricted, cutting off the blood supply. Vasospasm occurs in response to cold. It causes tingling, numbness and whiten- ing in the fingers and toes, all of which fade when the hands and feet are warmed up. In rare ca- ses the arterial walls thicken, causing permanent reduction of blood flow, which can lead to ulcers or even gangrene. Treatment includes keeping the hands and feet warm, stopping smoking, and vasodi- lator drugs. Severe cases may require an operation to cut the nerve that makes the arteries spasm.

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Keywords: arterial disease, condition, disease, disorder, finger, fingers, healthcare, medical, medicine, peripheral, peripheral vascular disease, raynaud's disease, vascular disease, vasospasm

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