Clubbing is a thickening of the flesh under the toenails and fingernails. The nail curves downward, similar to the shape of the round part of an upside-down spoon.
Clubbing occurs with a wide number of diseases. It is most often found in heart and lung diseases that cause a lower-than-normal amount of oxygen in the blood.
Clubbing may also be due to lung cancer, and diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract.
Clubbing may also occur in families. In this case it may not be due to an underlying disease.
- Chronic lung conditions
Bronchiectasis Cystic fibrosis
abscess Lung cancer
- Pulmonary fibrosis
- Congenital heart disease (cyanotic type)
Tetralogy of Fallot Total anomalous venous return Transposition of the great vessels
atresia Truncus arteriosus
- Digestive system diseases
Celiac disease Cirrhosis
Crohn's diseaseand ulcerative colitis
Graves diseaseor hyperthyroidism
- Other conditions
- Other types of cancer, including liver, gastrointestinal,
Hodgkin's lymphoma Subacute endocarditis
- Tuberculosis of the intestines
Review Date: 11/02/2009
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.