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. Jan-Mar 2004;56(1):36-45.
doi: 10.4081/reumatismo.2004.36.

[Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy in Systemic Sclerosis: Diagnostic and Follow-Up Parameters and Correlation With Both Specific Serum Autoantibodies and Subsets of Skin Involvement]

[Article in Italian]
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[Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy in Systemic Sclerosis: Diagnostic and Follow-Up Parameters and Correlation With Both Specific Serum Autoantibodies and Subsets of Skin Involvement]

[Article in Italian]
A Sulli et al. Reumatismo. .
Free article

Abstract

Introduction: The aim of the present study was to demonstrate, by nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC), the existence of diagnostic and follow-up parameters of microvascular damage in systemic sclerosis (SS) (grouped in the "early", "active" and "late" NVC patterns). The presence of the different subsets of skin involvement (limSS and difSS), as well as the role of some specific serum autoantibodies in the expression of the NVC parameters were investigated.

Methods: 245 consecutive SS patients were recruited and clinical data assessed. Antinuclear (ANA), antitopoisomerase I (Scl70) and anticentromere (ACA) antibodies were investigated in all patients.

Results: Giant capillaries and hemorrhages were confirmed to be the earliest NVC finding in SS (diagnostic parameters). The loss of capillaries, along with ramified capillaries and vascular architectural disorganization were validated as parameters of progression of SS microangiopathy. Really, both Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and SS duration were detected longer in patients with the "late" than in those with the "active" or the "early" NVC pattern. Patients affected by limSS were found to have shorter disease duration, as well as showed more frequently the "early" or the "active" NVC patterns. Conversely, patients affected by the difSS showed longer disease duration and mostly the presence of the "active" or "late" NVC pattern. The Scl70 positivity was lower in the patients showing the "early" than in those with the "active" and the "late" NVC patterns, whereas no significant correlation was found between the Scl70 presence and both RP and SS duration. The ACA positivity was higher in patients showing the "early" NVC pattern, as well as in patients with longer disease duration.

Conclusions: This study confirms that the identification of distinct NVC patterns may be useful to evaluate the severity and the stage of the SS microvascular damage. The presence of the Scl70 antibodies seems related to a more rapid progression of the SS microangiopathy. On the contrary, the presence of the ACA seems to be related to a slower progression of the SS microvascular damage. The SS peripheral microangiopathy is similar as in patients with limSS, as in those affected by difSS.

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