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Article
June 1969

Raynaud's Phenomenon

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC
From the Divisions of Neurosurgery and Neurology, Duke University Medical Center, and the Durham Veterans Administration Hospital, Durham, NC.

Arch Neurol. 1969;20(6):668. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480120114012
Abstract

EPISODIC vasospasm with discoloration of the digits was first described in 1862 by the French physician Maurice Raynaud (1834 to 1881 ).1,2 A typical attack, as noted by Raynaud, consists of a cyclic discoloration of the skin, proceeding from white to blue to red.3 At present, these attacks are usually referred to as "Raynaud's disease" if they occur in isolation; if they accompany another disorder, such as cryoglobulinemia, the term "Raynaud's phenomenon" is used.

Raynaud postulated that the transient discoloration of the digits is due to a disturbance in the sympathetic nervous system, and sympathectomy was later introduced as a treatment for the condition. The success of this operation has led to a better understanding of the autonomic nervous system and has promoted the use of sympathectomy in the management of a variety of vascular disorders.4-8

References

RAYNAUD'S PHENOMENON—WILKINS & BRODY

ON LOCAL ASPHYXIA and SYMMETRICAL GANGRENE

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