Nailfold capillaroscopy is a noninvasive method useful for the evaluation of microcirculation morphologic component. It allows an early differential diagnosis between subjects with primary Raynaud's phenomenon and patients with secondary Raynaud's phenomenon. In systemic sclerosis and sclerodermaspectrum syndromes there are capillaroscopic findings easily distinguished from the pattern of healthy controls, and characterized by the presence of enlarged loops, avascular areas and diffuse loss of capillaries. Because of their diagnostic relevance, the acquaintance of internists and rheumatologists with nailfold capillaroscopy is of utmost importance.
nailfold capillaroscopy; microcirculation; systemic sclerosis; Raynaud's phenomenon