Raynaud's Disease

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Raynaud's disease

[rā′nōz di‚zēz]
A usually bilateral disease of blood vessels, especially of the extremities; excited by cold or emotion, characterized by intermittent pallor, cyanosis, and redness, and generally accompanied by pain.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Raynaud’s Disease


(named for the French physician A. D. M. Raynaud, who described the disease in 1862), also Raynaud’s gangrene, a disease of humans associated with injury to the autonomic nervous system; the symptoms are pain and trophic disorders, with most frequent localization on the fingers of both hands.

The causes of Raynaud’s disease, which is found most often in young women, have not been established. There are three stages. In the first stage, the fingers, when exposed to cold, experience a burning sensation, ache, and turn pale. The attack lasts from several minutes to several hours. In the second stage, the attacks last longer, and the fingers turn blue. The final stage is marked by the appearance of blood blisters, at whose site there develop foci of necrosis and deep ulcers. In severe cases gangrene sets in, and one or more fingers fall off.

Diagnosis is based on the results of capillaroscopy, rheogra-phy of the extremities, and oscillography. Measurement of the skin temperature and the use of contrast-medium methods of examining the arteries are also important in diagnosis. In addition to Raynaud’s disease, one also distinguishes Raynaud’s phenomenon, which may be the initial symptom of other diseases, including various collagen diseases.

Raynaud’s disease is treated with vagosympathetic novocain blocks, ganglion-blocking preparations, nicotinic acid, rauna-tin, tranquilizers, and B-complex vitamins. Physiotherapy, including inductothermy, may be prescribed. Hydrogen-sulfide, brine, and radon baths are often used to treat the disease, as are mud packs and massages.


Bekhtereva, N. P., A. V. Bondarchuk, and V. V. Zontov. Bolezn’ Reino. Leningrad, 1965.
Mel’nitskaia, Z. S. Bolezn’ Reino i fizicheskie metody ee lecheniia. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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