Tissue necrosis caused by distal capillary thrombosis resulting from cryoglobulin precipitation in the vessels. The black tissue under the nails is ischemic, and will eventually slough, or be reabsorbed by the body.
Update Date 1/20/2015
Updated by: Gordon A. Starkebaum, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.