Finger clubbing

Last revised by Dr Rohit Sharma on 09 Oct 2018

Finger clubbing, also called "drumstick fingers", is a common clinical sign in patients with heart or lung disease. The term is used to describe an enlargement of the distal phalanges of the fingers, giving them a drumstick or club-like appearance. 

Clinical Presentation

Finger clubbing presents in a number of typical stages:

  1. increased fluctuation of the nail bed
  2. loss of the normal Lovibond angle at the base of the nail (Schamroth's window is lost)
  3. increased convexity of the nail
  4. widening or 'drumsticking' of the fingertip


The underlying pathogenesis of finger clubbing is unknown.


Finger clubbing is associated with a long list of chronic cardiopulmonary and GI diseases including 1:

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: in cystic fibrosis
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  •  Case 1: cystic fibrosis
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  • Case 2: thyroid acropachy
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