eISSN: 2299-0046
ISSN: 1642-395X
Advances in Dermatology and Allergology/Postępy Dermatologii i Alergologii
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vol. 41
Original paper

The usefulness of nailfold capillaroscopy in scleroderma-spectrum disorders: a single-centre observational study

Katarzyna Wiąk-Walerowicz
Ewa Wielosz
Maria Majdan

  1. Department of Rheumatology and Systemic Connective Tissue Diseases, Medical University of Lublin, Lublin, Poland
Adv Dermatol Allergol 2024; XLI (3): 296-300
Online publish date: 2024/06/30
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Nail-fold capillaroscopy is a non-invasive method for assessment of the microcirculation in nail folds. This examination is particularly useful for diagnosis, assessment of activity, evaluation of the response to treatment, and assessment of the correlation of changes in microvessels with changes in organs in systemic sclerosis and in scleroderma-spectrum diseases, i.e. dermatomyositis, polymyositis, mixed connective tissue disease, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease.

To perform capillaroscopic analyses of lesions in patients with scleroderma-spectrum diseases and determine the correlation of the capillaroscopic image with organ manifestations and the serological profile.

Material and methods:
The study involved 15 patients with scleroderma-spectrum disorders.

Mixed systemic connective tissue disease was diagnosed in 8 patients, and dermatomyositis was detected in 7 patients. The study assessed the frequency of clinical symptoms, e.g. interstitial lung disease or arthritis, and the presence of ANA antibodies. Scleroderma-like microangiopathy was diagnosed in 47% of patients with scleroderma-spectrum disorders. The early pattern was found in patients with mixed systemic connective tissue disease, whereas dermatomyositis was characterized by the late pattern. Non-specific changes were found in 27% of the patients, and a normal image was observed in 27% of the patients.

The analysis also revealed that the reduced number of vessels correlated with the occurrence of interstitial lung disease, and the incidence of Raynaud’s phenomenon and arthritis was statistically significantly higher in patients with systemic connective tissue disease than in those with dermatomyositis.


capillaroscopy, scleroderma, scleroderma-spectrum disorders, dermatomyositis, polymyositis

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