Clubbing of the fingers or toes


Clubbing is changes in the areas under and around the toenails and fingernails, and in the nails themselves that may occur with some disorders.

Alternative Names



Common symptoms of clubbing:

Clubbing can develop quickly, often within weeks. It also can go away quickly when its cause is treated.


Lung cancer is the most common cause of clubbing. Clubbing often occurs in heart and lung diseases that reduce the amount of oxygen in the blood, such as:

Other causes of clubbing:

When to Contact a Medical Professional

If you notice clubbing, call your health care provider.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

A person with clubbing usually has symptoms of another condition. Diagnosing that condition is based on:

Medical history questions may include:

The following tests may be done:

There is no treatment for the clubbing itself. The cause of clubbing can be treated, however.


Murray JF, Schraufnagel DE. History and physical examinations. In: Mason RJ, Broaddus VC, Martin TR, et al. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier;2010:chap 17.

Review Date: 5/1/2011
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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