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Raynaud's phenomenon can be a serious health issue, as the blood flow to the extremities, mainly the fingers is compromised, causing fingers to blanche, and then turn blue. Severe Raynaud's can cause gangrene in illnesses like progressive/ diffuse scleroderma.

I am not asking about connective tissue disease per se, but what occurs during an actual Raynaud event (for a better way of putting it), not what precipitates the condition to occur within a particular person and not another.

what are the underlying biological processes that cause the blood flow to be compromised like this?

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^^^ please note the tag of neuroscience, this condition involves the autonomic nervous system. –  user4693 Nov 5 '13 at 16:06
    
It is due to vasospasms that lead to constriction. –  biogirl Nov 5 '13 at 16:11
    
@biogirl care to provide an answer?? :) –  user4693 Nov 6 '13 at 1:05
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