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Clinical applications of capillaroscopy

The study of the skin microcirculation in the clinical management

The early differential diagnosis between primary and secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon is the best advantage nailfold capillaroscopy may offer.

Raynaud’s phenomenon represents the most frequent clinical aspect of cardio/microvascular involvement and is a key feature of several autoimmune rheumatic diseases.


Moreover, Raynaud’s phenomenon is associated in a statistically significant manner with many coronary diseases. In normal conditions or in primary Raynaud’s phenomenon the normal nailfold capillaroscopic pattern shows a regular disposition of the capillary loops along with the nailbed.

On the contrary, in subjects suffering from secondary Raynaud’s phenomenon, one or more alterations of the capillaroscopic findings should alert the physician of the possibility of a connective tissue disease not yet detected.