Clubbing of the fingers or toes

Definition

Clubbing is changes in the areas under and around the toenails and fingernails that occur with some disorders. The nails also show changes.

Considerations

Common symptoms of clubbing:

Clubbing can develop quickly, often within weeks. It also can go away quickly when its cause is treated.

Causes

Lung cancer is the most common cause of clubbing. Clubbing often occurs in heart and lung diseases that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood. These may include:

Other causes of clubbing:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

If you notice clubbing, call your health care provider.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

A person with clubbing often has symptoms of another condition. Diagnosing that condition is based on:

The provider may ask questions such as:

The following tests may be done:

There is no treatment for the clubbing itself. The cause of clubbing can be treated, however.


Review Date: 4/21/2015
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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