Raynaud's phenomenon is characterized by intense vasospasm of the digital arteries on cold exposure or emotional stress, leading to well-defined colour changes in the skin of the fingers. Behind the clinical manifestations, there is an imbalance between vasoconstrictor and vasodilator factors. It may be primary or secondary to an underlying condition, including autoimmune diseases. Physical examination, nail fold capillaroscopy and immunological tests can differentiate primary forms from secondary ones. The treatment is based on preventing exposure to cold, emotional stress and the administration of certain drugs and, if attacks are present, vasodilators, prostaglandin analogues and anticoagulants may be given. This review focuses on the characteristics of Raynaud's phenomenon and the available diagnostic and therapeutic options.
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