Thursday, August 17, 2017



Bulbous enlargement of the distal portion of the digits due to increased subungual soft tissue.
It is also known as the "Hippocratic fingers", as it is believed that perhaps Hippocrates was the first to document clubbing as a sign of disease.

Grades of clubbing-
Grade I- presence of fluctuation test °
Grade II- obliteration of Lovibond angle*
Grade III- parrot beak or drumstick appearance
Grade IV- hypertrophic osteoarthropathy (HOA)

*Refer the diagram
°Refer the video clipping

Theories of clubbing-
1. Neurogenic theory- vagal stimulation via neural reflexes can lead to proliferation of connective tissue at the distal extremities resulting in clubbing.

2.Humoral theory- Normally lungs throws out all the soluble substances by inactivation. But in case of lung problems, these systems reach the systemic circulation in active state and stimulate the changes seen in HOA (growth hormone, PTH, bradikynin, prostaglandin, ferritin)

3.Hypoxic theory- Hypoxia is suggested to be a stimulus for HOA. It leads to opening of deep arteriovenous shunts and fistulae which increase blood flow to the extremities and leads to hypertrophy.

4.Platelets derived growth factor- Normally megakaryocytes and large platelets get destroyed in the lungs. But in lung pathology they escape the lung and reach the distal extremities. Here they interact with the endothelial cells and release platelet derives growth factor (PDGF) post activation. PDGF and other mediators then activate the fibroblasts and transforming growth factor beta which lead to collagen production and connective tissue laying down ultimately giving rise to clubbing and HOA.
This is the latest accepted theory.

Causes of clubbing-


C - cyanotic heart diseases, chron's disease
L - lung causes (lung abscess, emphysema, interstitial lung disease, bronchogenic carcinoma, tuberculosis)
U - ulcerative colitis
B - biliary cirrhosis
B - benign mesothelioma
I - infective endocarditis, idiopathic, inherited
N - neurogenic tumors
G - graves disease

Shivani Mangalgi
Medicowesome 2017

Courtesy YouTube


  1. Is there some one who could look at a pic of my fingers to see by if I have this problem?


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