Original Research

Nailfold Videocapillaroscopy in Connective Tissue Diseases with Raynaud’s Phenomenon in an Indian Population

Sambit Sundaray, Siddhartha Mishra, Subhash Chandra Dash, and Naba Kishore Sundaray


Introduction: Microvasculopathy is characterized by progressive structural and functional damage to the microvessels and plays a key role in the pathogenesis of various connective tissue diseases (CTD). Nailfold videocapillaroscopy is an optimal and validated method for analysis of microvascular abnormalities and is able to differentiate secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) of CTD from primary RP and healthy subjects.

Aim: To assess and analyze nailfold capillaroscopic findings in Indian subjects with secondary Raynaud and to compare with findings in healthy subjects.

Methods: A total of 62 study participants including cases and controls underwent nailfold videocapil-laroscopy. Capillary loop length, capillary width, capillary density, presence/absence of tortuosity, giant loops, neoangiogenesis, microhemorrhages, and avascular areas were the parameters studied.

Results: All the quantitative and qualitative parameters studied were significantly associated with second¬ary RP. Mean loop length in cases of connective tissue diseases was significantly less than in the controls (225.74 µm versus 282.97 µm) (P=0.002). Capillary density was also reduced significantly in the cases as compared to the controls (4.6 versus 7.39/mm) (P<0.01), whereas it was markedly decreased in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and mixed connective tissue diseases (MCTD), and near normal in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Tortuosity was the most frequent (77.4%) qualitative parameter. Scleroderma pattern was found in 62.5% of patients with SSc and in 60% with MCTD. Non-specific pattern was found in 80% of SLE cases and 50% of dermatomyositis cases.

Conclusion: Both quantitative and qualitative capillaroscopic changes are significantly associated with secondary RP. Scleroderma pattern was predominant in SSc and MCTD, whereas non-specific pattern was predominantly found in SLE and dermatomyositis.

Rambam Maimonides Med J 2022;13(1):e0003