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Nail Bed Cyanosis

 
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Overview

  • Look For

  • Blue discolouration of the nail beds.
  • Significance

  • Nail bed cyanosis is a type of peripheral cyanosis, characterised by elevated levels of deoxygenated haemoglobin (hypoxaemia) in the peripheries. Always look for central cyanosis (under the tongue) when this is present.
  • Causes of Nail Bed Cyanosis

  • Central Cyanosis

  • High altitude
  • Obstructive lung disease, pulmonary oedema, pneumonia, pulmonary embolism
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Methaemoglobinaemia / sulfhaemoglobinaemia / carboxyhaemoglobinaemia
  • Peripheral Cyanosis

  • As for central cyanosis
  • Reduced cardiac output
  • Vasoconstriction
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