Raynaud's Diagnosis

Blood Tests
The doctor may also order two particular blood tests: an antinuclear antibody test (ANA) and an erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR). The ANA test determines whether the body is producing special proteins (antibodies) often found in people who have connective tissue diseases or other autoimmune disorders. The ESR test is a measure of inflammation in the body and tests how fast red blood cells settle out of unclotted blood. Inflammation in the body can cause an elevated ESR.
 

Criteria Used to Determine a Raynaud's Diagnosis

Most doctors find it fairly easy to diagnose Raynaud's phenomenon but more difficult to identify the exact form of Raynaud's. Specific criteria they use to diagnose someone with primary or secondary Raynaud's phenomenon include:
 
Primary Raynaud's Phenomenon
Indications that a person may have primary Raynaud's phenomenon include:
 
  • Periodic vasospastic attacks of pallor or cyanosis (some doctors include the additional criterion of the presence of these attacks for at least two years)
  • Normal nailfold capillary pattern
  • Negative antinuclear antibody test
  • Normal erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Absence of pitting scars or ulcers of the skin in the fingers or toes
  • Gangrene (tissue death) in the fingers or toes.
     
Secondary Raynaud's Phenomenon
Indications that a person may have secondary Raynaud's phenomenon include:
 
  • Periodic vasospastic attacks of pallor and cyanosis
  • Abnormal nailfold capillary pattern
  • Positive antinuclear antibody test
  • Abnormal erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Presence of pitting scars or ulcers of the skin in the fingers or toes
  • Gangrene in the fingers or toes.
     

Information about Raynaud's

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