Nail Bed Cyanosis | Signs - MedSchool
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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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