Hippocratic Fingers

Other Known Aliases clubbing of the fingers

Definition – soft tissue swelling of the terminal phalynx

Clinical Significance this is a nonspecific clinical finding that can be caused by numerous diseases, but is classically associated with any disease that can cause physiologic hypoxia. The exact mechanism for development is unknown, but is theorized to be caused by vasodilation, secretion of growth factors, overproduction of prostaglandin E2, and increased entry of megakaryocytes.

HistoryNamed after Hippocrates (460-370 BC), who was a Greek physician and is considered to be the “Father of Medicine”, due to his approach in observation of clinical diseases. Though I cant find an original source for this eponym, it is one of those historical “facts” that nobody really challenges.


  1. Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA.  Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed.  New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
  2. Bartolucci S, Forbis P.  Stedman’s Medical Eponyms.  2nd ed.  Baltimore, MD; LWW.  2005.
  3. Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012).  Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software].  Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
  4. Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
  5. Up To Date. www.uptodate.com

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