Microvascular damage evaluation in systemic sclerosis: the role of nailfold videocapillaroscopy and laser techniques

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B. Ruaro
A. Sulli
V. Smith
C. Pizzorni
S. Paolino
E. Alessandri
M. Cutolo *
(*) Corresponding Author:
M. Cutolo | mcutolo@unige.it

Abstract

Microvascular damage and a decrease in peripheral blood perfusion are typical features of systemic sclerosis (SSc) with serious clinical implications, not only for a very early diagnosis, but also for disease progression. Nailfold videocapillaroscopy is a validated and safe imaging technique able to detect peripheral capillary morphology, as well as to classify and to score any nailfold abnormalities into different microangiopathy patterns. Capillaroscopic analysis is now included in the ACR/EULAR classification criteria for SSc. The decrease in peripheral blood perfusion is usually associated with microvascular damage in SSc, which may be studied by different methods. Several of these make use of safe laser technologies. This paper focuses on these new clinical aspects to assess SSc microvascular impairment.

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