The influence of age on nailfold capillary dimensions in childhood

J Rheumatol. 2000 Mar;27(3):797-800.


Objective: To identify the influence of age on nailfold capillary dimensions in children between 6 and 15 years.

Methods: Capillary density (the number of capillaries in a 3 mm length of the distal row) and capillary dimensions were measured in 110 healthy children using the technique of nailfold video microscopy. The age groups studied were as follows: 6 to 7 years (17 children), 8 to 9 years (15 children), 10 to 11 years (34 children), 12 to 13 years (24 children), and 14 to 15 years (20 children).

Results: There was a significant trend for the arterial and venous diameters to rise with age. However, this trend was not present for apical or loop diameters, nor for the capillary density. Results did not differ between males and females.

Conclusion: In studies incorporating capillary dimensions in children, results should ideally be age adjusted, and dimensions should not be categorized as normal or abnormal without taking the child's age into account.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Arteries / anatomy & histology
  • Capillaries / anatomy & histology
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Video
  • Nails / blood supply*
  • Veins / anatomy & histology