Clubbing of the fingers and toes has been recognized as a clinical manifestation of intrathoracic disease from the earliest times. Hippocrates particularly described the condition as occurring with advanced phthisis and empyema and emphasized the importance of the changes as diagnostic of purulent pleural effusion. Many subsequent authors have described clubbing of the fingers associated with chronic disease of the heart or lungs, but it is still rare in medical literature to find the condition mentioned as being of primary origin. The present case is considered worthy of reporting not only because the simple clubbing of the hands and toes is apparently of primary origin but also because it is familial, possibly hereditary, is congential as far as can be determined from the history and supposedly is the first instance of simple familial and congenital clubbing of the fingers and toes in a Negro to be described in medical literature.
WITHERSPOON JT. CONGENITAL AND FAMILIAL CLUBBING OF THE FINGERS AND TOES, WITH A POSSIBLY INHERITED TENDENCY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1936;57(1):18-31. doi:10.1001/archinte.1936.00170050026002