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Alternative Names Return to topClubbing
Definition Return to top
Clubbing is a thickening of the flesh under the toenails and fingernails. The nail curves downward, similar to the shape of the round part of an upside-down spoon.
Considerations Return to top
Clubbing is associated with a wide number of diseases. It is most often noted in heart and lung diseases that cause a lower than normal amount of oxygen in the blood.
Clubbing may also be due to lung cancer, and diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract.
Clubbing may also occur in families. In this case it may not be due to an underlying disease.
Causes Return to top
Home Care Return to top
There is no specific treatment for the clubbing itself. Home care depends on the diagnosis.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
If you notice clubbing, call your health care provider.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit Return to top
A person with clubbing generally has other symptoms and signs that define a specific condition. Diagnosis of that condition is based on:
Medical history questions may include:
The following tests may be done:
References Return to top
Zipes DP, Libby P, Bonow RO, Braunwald E, eds. Braunwald's Heart Disease: A Textbook of Cardiovascular Medicine, 7th ed. St. Louis, Mo; WB Saunders; 2005:78-79.
Murray J, Nadel J. Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders; 2000:506.
Spicknall KE. Clubbing: an update on diagnosis, differential diagnosis, pathophysiology, and clinical relevance. J Am Acad Dermatol. 2005;52(6):1020-1028Update Date: 11/12/2007 Updated by: Andrew Schriber, M.D., F.C.C.P., Specialist in Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, Virtua Memorial Hospital, Mount Holly, New Jersey. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.