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medical dictionary

<clinical sign>

<clinical examination> A condition which describes the broadening or thickening of the tips of the fingers (and toes) with increased lengthwise curvature of the nail and a decrease in the angle normally seen between the cuticle and the fingernail.

Often this finding on physical examination can be quite subtle and easily overlooked. Clubbing may be seen in a wide variety of conditions - most of which result in a decrease in blood oxygen.

Examples include: tetralogy of Fallot, transposition of the great vessels, atrial myxomas, cystic fibrosis, emphysema, lung cancer, tuberculosis, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, Hodgkin's disease, cirrhosis, chronic active hepatitis and Crohn's disease.

This finding will generally provoke a more detailed patient evaluation.

(11 Nov 1997)

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