Types of Raynaud's
Types of Raynaud's phenomenon include primary and secondary forms of the disease. Primary Raynaud's phenomenon, often called Raynaud's disease, is more common, and is characterized by episodic attacks that cause blood vessels in the fingers and toes to constrict. Secondary Raynaud's phenomenon is a more complex and serious disorder, and patients typically have an underlying disease or condition that causes this type of Raynaud's phenomenon.
Doctors classify Raynaud's phenomenon as either:
- Primary Raynaud's phenomenon
- Secondary Raynaud's phenomenon.
In medical literature, "primary Raynaud's phenomenon" may also be called:
- Raynaud's disease
- Idiopathic Raynaud's phenomenon
- Primary Raynaud's syndrome.
The terms "idiopathic" and "primary" both mean that the cause is unknown.
Most people who have Raynaud's phenomenon have the primary form (the milder version). A person who has primary Raynaud's phenomenon has no underlying disease or associated medical problems. More women than men are affected, and approximately 75 percent of all cases are diagnosed in women who are between 15 and 40 years old.
People who have only vasospastic attacks for several years, without involvement of other body systems or organs, rarely have or will develop a secondary disease later (that is, a connective tissue disorder such as scleroderma). Researchers who studied people who appeared to have primary Raynaud's phenomenon over long periods of time found that less than 9 percent of these people developed a secondary disease.