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Acute blue finger syndrome: a rare benign cause of acute digit discolouration
  1. Kiran Dhaliwal1,2,
  2. Colin Thomas Brewster3 and
  3. Sivarajasingham Pakeerathan2
  1. 1 Division of Surgery, East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, Surrey, UK
  2. 2 Accident and emergency, St Georges NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3 Royal Stoke University Hospital, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, UK
  1. Correspondence to Miss Kiran Dhaliwal, kirandhaliwal50{at}


Acute blue finger syndrome is a rare benign condition that mimics digital ischaemia. We discuss the case of a 32-year-old woman who presented with a 6hour history of blue discolouration of the middle finger of the right hand, associated with pain and swelling. There was no history of trauma and this was the first time that the patient had experienced these symptoms. Examination found blue discolouration of the digit primarily on the volar aspect with associated swelling. All investigations, including blood tests, X-rays and Doppler scanning, were normal. The symptoms resolved spontaneously within 48 hours. There were no recurrent episodes or long-term sequelae. Patients presenting with an acutely blue finger need rapid assessment to exclude digit ischaemia. Knowledge of this rare benign condition may prevent unnecessary distress, invasive investigations and potentially harmful treatment of a healthy patient.

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  • Contributors KD drafted the article, CTB edited and contributed to the manuscript and SP provided input on the content and was responsible for overall supervision.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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