Terry's nails is a physical finding in which fingernails and/or toenails:659 appear white with a characteristic "ground glass" appearance, with no lunula. The condition is thought to be due to a decrease in vascularity and an increase in connective tissue within the nail bed. It frequently occurs in the setting of liver failure, cirrhosis, diabetes mellitus, congestive heart failure, hyperthyroidism, and/or malnutrition. Eighty percent of patients with severe liver disease have Terry's nails, but they are also found in patients with kidney failure, in patients with congestive heart failure and are described as a brown arc near the ends of the nails. The recognition of characteristic nail patterns, such as Terry’s nails, may be a helpful herald for early diagnosis of systemic diseases.
This was named for Dr. Richard Terry, White nails in hepatic cirrhosis. Lancet. 1954;1:756–9.