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      Nailfold Capillaroscopy in Rheumatic Diseases: Which Parameters Should Be Evaluated?

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          Video nailfold capillaroscopy (NFC), considered as an extension of the widefield technique, allows a more accurate measuring and storing of capillary data and a better defining, analyzing, and quantifying of capillary abnormalities. Capillaroscopic study is often performed on the patients suspected of having microcirculation problems such as Raynaud's phenomenon as the main indication for nailfold capillaroscopy. Capillaroscopic findings based on microcirculation studies can provide useful information in the fields of pathophysiology, differential diagnosis, and monitoring therapy. Nailfold capillaroscopy provides a vital assessment in clinical practices and research; for example, its reputation in the early diagnosis of systemic sclerosis is well established and it is also used as a classification criterion in this regard. This review focuses on the manner of performing video nailfold capillaroscopy and on a common approach for measuring capillary dimensions in fingers and toes.

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          Nailfold videocapillaroscopic patterns and serum autoantibodies in systemic sclerosis.

          Microvascular lesions are a predominant feature in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and seem to play a central pathogenetic role. Recently, we graded scleroderma microangiopathy by nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) into three NVC patterns (early, active and late). The aim of the present study was to confirm, in a larger number of SSc patients, the presence of three patterns of microvascular damage, and to detect any possible relationship between these patterns and both specific serum autoantibodies and the subsets of cutaneous involvement. Two hundred and forty-one consecutive patients (227 women and 14 men) affected by SSc were recruited. One hundred and forty-eight patients were affected by limited cutaneous SSc (lSSc) and 93 patients by diffuse cutaneous SSc (dSSc). The ages at onset of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and SSc, the durations of RP and SSc, ANA and antitopoisomerase I (anti-Scl70) and anticentromere (ACA) antibodies were investigated in all patients. The SSc patients were subdivided on the basis of the NVC pattern into three groups. A statistically significant correlation was found between the NVC patterns and the durations of both RP and SSc (P<0.001). Enlarged and giant capillaries, together with haemorrhages, constituted the earliest NVC finding in SSc (early NVC pattern). These abnormalities were mostly expressed in the active NVC pattern. Loss of capillaries, ramified capillaries and vascular architectural disorganization were increased in the late NVC pattern. Age and the duration of both RP and SSc were lower in 24 patients complaining of RP alone. Anti-Scl70 antibodies were statistically less frequent in the early vs both the active and the late NVC pattern, whereas no significant correlation was found between the presence of anti-Scl70 antibodies and the duration of either RP or SSc. ACA positivity was more frequent in patients with longer RP duration. Patients with lSSc had shorter SSc duration and showed the early or active NVC pattern more frequently. Conversely, patients with dSSc showed longer disease duration and mostly showed the late NVC pattern. NVC is an appropriate tool for differential diagnosis between primary and secondary RP through the clear recognition of the early NVC scleroderma pattern. This study confirms, in a large number of SSc patients, the existence of three distinct NVC patterns that might reflect the evolution of SSc microangiopathy. The presence of anti-Scl70 antibodies seems be related to earlier expression of the active and late NVC patterns of SSc microvascular damage. The presence of ACA seems to be related to delayed expression of the late NVC pattern.
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            Raynaud's phenomenon and the role of capillaroscopy.

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              Panoramic nailfold capillaroscopy: a new reading method and normal range.

              Current interpretation of nailfold capillaroscopy is largely based on qualitative and subjective parameters. These parameters make the accurate assessment of the extent of the nailfold microangiopathy difficult. The authors present a comprehensive method in which several quantitative or semiquantitative parameters are used to assess the main microangiopathic features, such as microhemorrhage, plexus visibility, devascularization, and morphologic anomalies of the end row loops. The method is checked for reproducibility and applied to a sample of 800 healthy people to establish the normal range. The influences of extrinsic variables, such as gender, ethnicity, age, and local nailfold conditions are also included.

                Author and article information

                Biomed Res Int
                BioMed research international
                Hindawi Limited
                : 2015
                [1 ] Medical Image and Signal Processing Research Center, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 81745-319, Iran.
                [2 ] Department of Rheumatology, Alzahra Hospital, Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, Isfahan 8174675731, Iran.
                [3 ] School of Technology and Health (STH), Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 141 52 Huddinge, Sweden.


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