Document Detail

The acute blue finger: management and outcome.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  18701013     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
INTRODUCTION: The objective was to assess the management, and short- and longer-term outcome of patients presenting with an acute blue finger. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective, case-note review and prospective follow-up by telephone and general practitioner enquiry. All patients who presented with sudden onset blue discolouration of a finger within the previous 72 h, with normal radial and ulnar pulses, were included. RESULTS: From 2000 to 2006, 22 patients, 15 female, 7 male, were reviewed. Median age was 56 years (range, 19-88 years). Median time from onset of blue finger was 6 days (range 1 day to 3 months). In most cases (17), no underlying cause was identified. Five patients had an underlying cause; two had symptoms compatible with Raynaud's phenomenon, one patient had signs (later confirmed on MRA) of arterial thoracic outlet syndrome and two had polycythaemia (haemoglobin > 17 g/dl). Otherwise, all laboratory investigations were normal. Upper limb duplex, echocardiogram and 24-h cardiac tapes were normal in all cases. Median follow-up was 19 months. Three patients had recurrent symptoms in the finger. No patient suffered tissue loss or loss of digit(s), and none had stroke or arterial embolisation. CONCLUSIONS: The acute blue finger is a benign condition not suggestive of arterial embolisation. Tissue or digit loss is not a threat and, in the longer term, there is no threat of embolisation to other vascular sites.
R Cowen; T Richards; A Dharmadasa; A Handa; J M T Perkins
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article     Date:  2008-08-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England     Volume:  90     ISSN:  1478-7083     ISO Abbreviation:  Ann R Coll Surg Engl     Publication Date:  2008 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2008-10-03     Completed Date:  2009-02-04     Revised Date:  2009-11-18    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7506860     Medline TA:  Ann R Coll Surg Engl     Country:  England    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  557-60     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Vascular Surgery, The John Radcliffe, Oxford, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Acute Disease
Aged, 80 and over
Fingers / blood supply*
Follow-Up Studies
Ischemia / etiology,  therapy*
Middle Aged
Treatment Outcome
Young Adult
Comment In:
Ann R Coll Surg Engl. 2009 May;91(4):354   [PMID:  19416593 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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